Roofer Gary McKenzie, 22, denied the prank but said he had once farted in front of the boy’s face accidentally, which he claimed had been ‘funny’.
Prosecutor Paul Abrahams told Teesside Crown Court that if the incident had taken place in a rugby club after the victim had drank 10 pints it might have been dismissed as horseplay.
But in McKenzie’s case it amounted to cruelty. The charge McKenzie faces states: “You wilfully ill-treated the child, namely by breaking wind in his face, in a manner likely to cause him unnecessary suffering or injury to health.
The charge was brought contrary to section 1(1) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933.
The boy, who is under 16, told police: ‘He pumped. He was right next to me and bending down, he was wearing shorts, his shorts were right next to my face.
‘I said “why did you do that?” and he said he did it because he wanted to be nasty.’
He added that he had witnessed McKenzie trump in front of another child’s face, this time pulling his pants down and breaking wind ‘right on their face’.
McKenzie told police that he had broken wind in front of the boy’s face while walking up some stairs and while the child’s face was near his backside.
He’s also facing charges that he held a pillow on a child’s face – he says he was playing – and that he punched a boy on the arm and sucked his eye causing a red ring and a bruise – again while playing.
Mr Abrahams added: ‘He said this had been funny but denied the incident described.
‘Of the incident involving the pillow he said he was just playing. We say this was a cruel act and that he was not just playing.’
McKenzie denies the allegations and the trial continues.