Monday, December 27, 2010

'Cowardly' drunken thugs beat up pensioner, 69, for wearing RAF blazer and poppy

A former serviceman was left bloodied and bruised when two drunken thugs beat him up for wearing an RAF blazer and poppy.

Anthony O'Brien, 69, was attacked by the thugs, aged between 17 and 20, after meeting friends to plan the funeral of a former colleague.

Mr O'Brien said today that as they attacked him they shouted: 'Blow up all soldiers. F****** shoot all you b*******s - death to all soldiers.'

The pair - described as being of Asian or mixed race - then headbutted and punched him to the floor leaving him in a daze.

Mr O'Brien staggered back to his home nearby in Fallowfield, Manchester, but has been left wheelchair-bound after being treated for his injuries.

The grandfather said:'The yobs who did this to me are nothing but cowardly scum.

'I wear my blazer and poppy regularly because it's smart and I'm proud of it, yet these thugs obviously treat all that with utter contempt.

'It really gets me angry, if they had any respect they wouldn't have said what they said or attacked me.

'At the end of the day they are cowards for doing it to an older person, one of them was a big fella - he should have picked on someone his own size.'

Mr O'Brien, who served with the parachute squadron at Wolverhampton in the 1960s, had met friends at a pub to plan the funeral service of a former colleague.

Investigation: PC Mike Seddon has appealed for witnesses to the attack on Mr O'Brien
He said: 'I'd had one pint and then left to go home.

I saw these two lads and as I got near them they started shouting and swearing

'I told them to leave me alone but then the little fella hit me on the side of my head.

'Then the other fella was right in front of me coming towards my head and I didn't have time to move and he head-butted me.Then they ran away.

'I don't know if I will ever forget it, I think about it all the time. I'm scared to go outside on my own now.'

Police are now forensically examining Mr O'Brien's blazer to see if the thugs left any DNA on it.

PC Michael Seddon, of Greater Manchester Police who is investigating the incident, said, 'This was a mindless and brutal attack on a vulnerable member of the community.

'We would urge anyone with information to come forward. In particular, we would like to speak with the man who stopped just after the attack.'

One of the attackers was described as of stocky build, 5ft 6in, had thin braided hair and was wearing dark clothing.

The second man was chubby, 5ft 4in, had short shaved black hair and was wearing dark clothing.
The two men fled the scene on bicycles.

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