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Victim was hit with breeze block in Worcester alleyway
AN unprovoked attack on a rough sleeper in Worcester who had a breeze block thrown at his head has been condemned by homeless charities.
Police are now hunting a man, described as being in his early 30s, who told two teenage girls he was “going to throw a brick at someone’s head” before the attack in an alleyway between an Indian restaurant and dressmaker shop in Lowesmoor at 7.30am on Sunday.
His victim was left needing hospital treatment for a two-inch cut to his head.
The homeless man, aged in his 60s, had been sleeping in a recess along an alleyway near a newsagents when he was woken by someone shouting nearby.
Having bragged of his intentions to the teens, the man went down the alleyway, removed the rough sleeper’s cardboard coverings and demanded he give him his mobile phone and wallet.
When the homeless man twice refused, the attacker picked up a breeze block and threw it at him, hitting the top of his head.
During a scuffle, the rough sleeper was also punched in the face.
His attacker ran out on to the main road, followed by his victim, whose head was bleeding profusely.
Mel Kirk, manager at Maggs Day Centre, called the attack “absolutely disgusting” and said that many rough sleepers had experienced verbal or physical abuse. You only have to speak to Big Issue sellers who will tell you they are given so much abuse,” she said.
“These are people who are just trying to make some honest money but they still get persecuted for it.
“As a society we should tolerate each other but attacks like these are absolutely horrible, there really is no need for it.”
She said most abuse aimed at homeless people often stemmed from negative stereotypes.
“The major stereotype homeless people face is that it is their own fault and they should just get a job and somewhere to live,” she said.
“That might be right for a very small minority but the majority are homeless through no fault of their own.
“Eighty-six per cent of our service users are men and usually when a relationship finishes it is the man who leaves the family home, particularly if children are involved.
“Women and children also take priority with housing, which they absolutely should do, but it means it is harder for a single man to find accommodation.”
Police have appealed for information regarding the Lowesmoor attack, with the attacker described as white, 5ft 9ins tall, of stocky build, with greying ‘salt-and-pepper’ hair and a tanned complexion.
He was wearing scruffy blue jeans, a red anorak with black marks on the arms and trainers and he was smoking roll-ups.
Police are also hoping to speak to the girls, thought to be about 16 years old, who may have been dressed in school uniforms.
They had black skirts, yellow blouses and blazers with yellow badges on.
Detective constable Sarah Beales, of Worcester CID, said: “This was an unprovoked attack on a vulnerable man in his 60s and his injuries could easily have been worse.
“We believe there were lots of people around in Lowesmoor early on Sunday morning and someone may have seen some part of this incident.
“We are particularly keen to trace the two young ladies who were seen talking to the man and to whom he boasted about attacking someone.
They were described as being dressed in school uniform but early on Sunday they could have been dressed in some other kind of uniform or even adults dressed as schoolgirls.
“I am sure they would remember their encounter and I urge them and any other witnesses to come forward so we can trace whoever was responsible.”
Anyone with information should contact DC Beales on the non-emergency police number 101 or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, quoting reference number 213s 06/10/13.
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