Victim of vicious assault sayshe could be prosecuted himself

Date: Friday 22nd June 2018

THE grandfather who was viciously attacked in the run-up to Appleby horse fair is himself facing possible criminal proceedings.

The 61-year-old man from Appleby was left with serious injuries after being attacked by a group of men he described as being “out for blood”.

He was left with broken vertebrae, black eyes and a bruised head, neck, ribs, spleen, liver and kidney.

The incident took place on the Tuesday before the fair as he drove through an unofficial travellers’ camp on a verge close to Soulby.

The man, who is not being named for fear of further attacks, was driving when he says a child ran out into the road and into the side of his car.

The Appleby businessman continues to have concerns over the police response to the attack and subsequent investigation. He believes police concentrated on his potential driving offences and missed opportunities to catch the attackers.

The man was kicked and punched repeatedly, and the assault was stopped only when a single police officer happened across the scene. The attackers moved away while the officer stood over the man, who was injured and bloodied on the floor, protecting him from further harm.

However, he says he was shocked to be cautioned by police, questioned and breathalysed while at the scene waiting to be taken to hospital. Police told him he may face criminal proceedings for a motoring offence.

The man says he has not received an update or any reassurance from the police two weeks on.

He thought police believed his attackers’ claims that he had been driving at 100mph and ran over the child. “They were more interested in investigating me than looking for attackers. When they started to investigate further they seemed to realise what I was saying was correct but did nothing until the next day,” he said.

“They were listening to the numbers and I think it’s backfired on them in that I hadn’t been drinking and I have a very clean licence. I think they got a false impression and by then it was too late. They missed their opportunity.”

He was asked whether he would go through the travellers’ camp in a police car to identify his attackers, but he said he would be unable to pick out faces as he had rolled himself into a ball to fend off the numerous blows.

As a result, he says police have told him technically there was no offence because there is no proof. “I’m not very happy about it, but as a realist I know I can’t identify one individual person,” he said.

While he is full of praise for the lone police officer who saved him, he is unhappy with the overall police response. He says he may take the matter to higher authorities as well as writing to Cumbria police and crime commissioner Peter McCall.

Commenting on the man’s concerns over the investigation, a spokesman for Cumbria Constabulary said: “Inquiries are ongoing into an assault that occurred following a road traffic collision in Crosby Garrett on 5th June at approximately 4-15pm. A three-year-old boy was injured as a result of the collision and police would like to hear from anyone who saw what happened. Anyone with information is urged to contact police.”