Sunday, 24 November 2013

Despicable hate crime

From the Norwich Evening News by Peter Walsh:

Norwich grandmother of eight tells of ‘terrifying’ gang assault by youths who kicked her in head and urinated on her.

A disabled Norwich grandmother has bravely spoken out about the terrifying moment she was abused and beaten by a gang of youths, some of whom urinated on her, in a sickening attack as she walked home from the shops.

Mother of four Denise Bright, 57. who lives near Fifers Lane, Norwich, has told her story to encourage members of the public to come forward with information.

The grandmother of eight underwent life-saving surgery last Christmas after an artery in her groin exploded and was just used to getting out again before her life was turned upside down in the attack.

Mrs Bright, who has back problems, had been to the shops at the junction of Brightwell Road and Catton Grove Road and was returning home when she was approached by a large group of teenagers. Some of them were on bicycles and they shouted abuse at her.

She said: 
I was walking home minding my own business, not causing anyone any problem, when all of a sudden these youths started to shout at me because I had a really bad limp because of the operation I had at Christmas.

They just called me a retard and a waste of space. They said people like me shouldn’t be walking the earth. I just said, ‘just go away, leave me alone’ and the next thing I know I was kicked in the back of my legs - at the knee - and knocked to the ground and they started kicking me in the head and in the body - kicking all my shopping all over the road.

I was trying to scrape my dog food up and they were kicking it out of my hand and then they weed all over me.
Mrs Bright managed to get up and ran into the road to try and escape her attackers and attract the attention of passing motorists.

She said: 
One car nearly hit me but swerved and carried on but the next car stopped. These two lads said ‘get in the car, get in the car’. They looked pretty scared but saw the youths running off.

If they hadn’t picked me up I hate to think what things could’ve happened. I was petrified.
Fortunately Mrs Bright only suffered bruising as a result of the attack, which happened at about 7.30pm on Saturday, October 19, but the psychological impact has been much more damaging.

She said: 
I don’t want to go out - I’m so frightened of going out. I don’t know what these lads look like so I can’t keep my eyes open for them. I’m so frightened they’re going to come after me. It’s got to the stage where all I want to do is stay indoors and that’s not right.

I’ve already got spinal problems so I like to try and get out and walk if I can. My husband comes and picks me up - I don’t want to give up. I’m trying to get my life back on track.

If anyone saw anything please come forward because these lads need to be caught because they’re not going to stop at me.
Anyone with information should contact PC Alexis Darby at Norwich North Safer Neighbourhood Team on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

■ Have you been the victim of a crime? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email


This is not just crime, this is hate crime

As described by Mrs Bright this seems a case where cowardly youths have deliberately selected a disabled person to attack, safe in the knowledge that she is unable to defend herself.

Here is the definition of a hate crime, according to Norwich City Council website: 

Hate crime or incidents

A hate crime or incident is an action which is motivated by hostility or prejudice based upon the victim’s perceived:
- Disability
- race
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation
- transgender status

Hate incidents or crimes can take many forms including:
- physical attacks - such as physical assault, damage to property, offensive graffiti, neighbour disputes and arson
- threat of attack - including offensive letters, abusive or obscene telephone calls, groups hanging around to intimidate and unfounded, malicious complaints
- verbal abuse or insults - offensive leaflets and posters, abusive gestures, dumping of rubbish outside homes or through letterboxes, and bullying at school or in the workplace.

A victim does not have to be a member of the group to perceive the incident as hate related.

For further information on hate crime, please visit the Home Office website.

If you feel that you have been targeted in this way, you can report the incident using the antisocial behaviour hotline.

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