Hooded yob chokes hairdresser

James Baldwin

James Baldwin

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A HAIRDRESSER has told how his windpipe was crushed after a hooded thug burst into his Wigan salon and started throttling him in front of horrified staff and customers.

Ex-soldier James Baldwin, who also received a foul-mouthed death threat from his assailant, said he did not retaliate because he didn’t want the onlookers - mainly women and children - to get injured in a full-blown fight.

The 45-year-old owner of Heaven Scent in Wigan’s Hope Street believes the stranger was exacting revenge for a minor incident a week earlier when James had prevented a woman’s children from trying to eat some of his soap products, thinking they were sweets.

Police today appealed for witnesses to the incident which took place at 2.30pm on Saturday. It only took a matter of seconds, with the man turning up and leaving in a Bluestar taxi whose oblivious driver waited outside.

James said: “People should not think they can get away with this kind of behaviour. There we were, 10 staff and 15 customers all packed in there getting on with our business when this guy walks in, grabs me by the throat and pins me to the wall saying that if I don’t treat women with greater respect he would effing kill me.

“I was 10 years in the army and in other circumstances would have retaliated but I didn’t want the witnesses to get hurt. They did the right thing by not intervening.

“The only thing I can think he was referring to was an incident a week ago when a woman came in with her children and they were playing with some of my products. One of them was about to eat a bath bomb and I said ‘careful, they’ve got chemicals in them.’ I resent what he said. I have great respect for women.”

James was taken to Wigan Infirmary with a crushed windpipe and has been referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist for further treatment. The man was white, about 24, 5ft 6ins tall, slim, with short mousy hair, wearing a baseball cap, blue hooded jacket

A police spokesman said anyone with details should ring 0161 872 5050 or Crimestoppers on (0800) 555111.