Written by John Squires
Well then. This a new one.
In a story we never in a million years expected to read, UK’s Mirror reports that 53-year-old Peter Bayliss has just been convicted of child cruelty for, 20-years-ago, forcing a child to watch George Romero’s seminal zombie flick Night of the Living Dead. The girl, six-years-old at the time, reportedly suffered from nightmares for weeks after watching the film, which was shown to her as punishment for misbehaving.
Bayliss, whose early-90s alcoholism was blamed for his error in judgement, was handed a six-month suspended sentence for the one count of child cruelty he was convicted of at the Shrewsbury Crown Court earlier this month, along with an 18-month supervision order with the probation service. He has also been ordered to complete 160 hours of community service work, which he will not be paid for.
“This was not sustained abuse but you, quite deliberately, made a child watch a horror film as punishment for behaving like a child,” the sentencer said to Bayliss. “And she suffered, not a long-term psychological injury, but from evidence she suffered nightmares for some time afterwards.”
Taking to Facebook, Night of the Living Dead star Kyra Schon, who was not much older than six when she played Karen Cooper in the film, responded to the news with a simple “Uh… really?” – and we couldn’t help but have that exact same reaction when we read the story. Even as I sit here typing it up, I’m still having a hard time believing it.
Shaking. My. Head.