Man threatened with rape for asking someone to stop smoking

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A MAN was threatened with rape and then viciously assaulted on a bus simply for asking his attacker to stop smoking.

The 34-year-old man was threatened and attacked on the number 18 bus as it was travelling along Rochdale Road in Blackley at about 10.30pm on 23 January 2015.

He had been out drinking with friends in Manchester city centre when he got on the bus at Shudehill Bus Station.

After sitting down on the upper deck near the back of the bus, he noticed another man smoking that was causing a woman who has asthma to cough. Politely, the victim asked him to stop smoking.

This prompted the offender to threaten to rape the victim and then repeatedly punch him in the face. The victim eventually got off the bus in Middleton.

He was seen by paramedics but did not go to hospital for treatment.

Police are now appealing to anyone who has information about what happened to come forward.

The main offender was described as being white, about 25-30-years-old, 5ft 10in tall, of a broad or stocky build with mousey short brown hair and a little stubble on his chin. He was wearing a white T-shirt with a logo on the front and a dark coloured coat.

The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “What happened to me has affected me in a big way.

“I was a very happy and confident person with a very happy life before this happened. It has destroyed everything and has even affected my marriage. I have been off work due to depression.”

Police Constable Nicola Taylor said: “The victim’s words speak volumes and show just how devastating the consequences of this assault has been for this man and his family.

“All he was doing was trying to protect a woman who suffered from asthma and asked another man to stop smoking, which prompted a violent and aggressive outburst from a man who should be ashamed of his actions and what he has done.

“I want to appeal to anyone who was on that bus and witnessed what happened to come forward and speak to us. I’m sure you were shocked by what you saw but did not want to intervene for fear of being attacked. However, you could have vital information for us so please speak to us if you witnessed what happened.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.