....... My husband was attacked. He and a friend had just spent a pleasant couple of hours down at the Mere, doing a spot of bird-watching (the feathered variety), and on the way home stopped off at our local corner shop. The friend stayed in the car whilst Graham went into the shop ....... meanwhile, three teenagers were gathered nearby, hurling abuse at everyone who passed by, making threats to "cut or knife" someone, etc, etc, obviously out of their heads on something (this was at 4.30pm in the afternoon!). As Graham came out of the shop, they started shouting abusive remarks at him - the next thing, they came over and started to attack him - the most vicious of them gave him a hard punch to the side of his head and floored him to the ground (luckily he didn't bang his head on the kerb) and he lost consciousness for several moments.
Luckily, our friend Chad saw what was happening and leapt out of the car to help, carrying a walking stick he keeps in his car for hill walking, and waving it around to ward them off (he didn't use it on them at all as a weapon) - I think he did elbow one in the face who was coming at him though - these cowardly thugs then started to try and provoke him to "come and have a go", but were backing off at the same time. The assistant behind the counter in the shop saw what was happening and called the police, then returned Graham's glasses to him which had been knocked off in the attack (fortunately they weren't broken); several other people including the shop owner witnessed the whole incident. Chad meanwhile managed to get Graham back into the car and drove him home.
You can imagine what a fit I had when I heard what had happened and saw the state he was in ...... Graham is not able to walk any distance at the best of times, he has a lot of constant pain in his back, hip and leg, and is not very steady, has to take things slowly, so stood no chance against these yobs ...... his elbow was all bloodied and scraped open, also his knee, with scratches across his right temple, and the worst of it being a lot of bruising developing over his left ear where he had been punched ..... despite all our best efforts, he refused to go up to A&E to be checked over (concussion, etc) so I've had to keep an eye on him all evening to see he is okay ....... the pain is subsiding a bit, but his arm and shoulder are starting to stiffen up with the soreness, so I imagine he may feel very tender by tomorrow. He's also feeling pretty shook up emotionally, of course, and realising he can't hold his own the same nowadays as he might have been able to do in his younger days.
Two policewomen visited shortly afterwards to check how Graham was and to say that they had two of the attackers in their van and were taking them into custody. They would be back later to get a statement from Graham and photos of all his injuries, which they did. It was about 9pm by the time everything was done. At the moment it looks like the main offender is going to admit to it all (at one point they were trying to plead it was self-defence because Chad had a "bat"!!!! - a complete and total lie!) but if he changes his mind Graham will be asked to attend court if necessary.
So ....... not a very pleasant way to spend an evening, but it could have been so much worse - if Chad hadn't been there, I'm certain they would have all laid into Graham and kicked his head in whilst he was on the ground and that would have been that, one kick would've been enough before anyone in the shop could have got there to help - how many times have we heard about these kinds of incidents in recent years and how often innocent people have lost their lives because of these teenage gangs? It's such a terrible thing to happen and a big knock to one's security and confidence. I just hope Graham recovers his sooner rather than later. But it makes you worry about going outside, wondering if you're going to meet up with them again or other violent teenagers.
Let us hope that these yobs get their just desserts and the maximum punishment they can be given for what they did - too often they get away with it, but enough is enough! It just makes me so mad!!!