Police launch hunt for cowardly attacker who assaulted an elderly Wigan man

Police are appealing for witnesses after a Wigan man was brutally assaulted in the street during a cowardly and unprovoked attack.

Wednesday, 23rd October 2019, 10:22 am
Mr Hart's injuries

Thomas Hart, 64, was assaulted by a man while walking his dog on a dismantled railway track behind Battersby Street, Ince, when he was heading towards Morrison’s supermarket near Hindley.

The offender is described as a white man, in his mid-30s, of large build, around 6ft with a shaved head, wearing a blue t-shirt. Police believe he was in the company of two children when the assault occurred.

No arrests have been made and enquiries are on-going.

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Constable Sean Goddard of the Wigan division said: “This was a violent attack on a defenceless man who was left understandably shaken.

“We are particularly keen to speak to anyone that was on or around Battersby Street at the time of the incident and may have heard or seen anything suspicious.

“I would also like to reassure the community that we are doing all we can to find the man responsible.”

Mr Hart took to social media to share his story, as well as shocking images of his injuries, in a bid to bring his brazen assailant to justice.

He had been walking his dog near the old railway line, close to the Morrisons supermarket, and was wearing a head torch to find his way in the dark.

He was approached by a man walking in the opposite direction, who he estimated to be in his early 30s who was with two children.

He said: “He was about 5’11” (with a) very short all-over haircut, large, fat build.”

He went on: “He told me to stop shining my head torch in his eyes, which I was not and told him so, he then went crazy.”

The man then launched a savage attack on Mr Hart by throwing a flurry of punches and head butting him, before throwing him to the ground.

“He also got my dog chains very tight around my neck, dragged me onto the path and started stomping on my head. His kids by this time had ran off screaming,” he said.

Mr Hart said that he lost consciousness for a few minutes, but could hear his attacker shouting for his children in the distance.

“I could hear him and his kids up the path, approximately in line with the middle of Battersby Street."

More than 1,300 people shared the appeal for information on social media, with many expressing their disgust at the attack.

Correana Dore wrote: “This idiot needs catching before he kills someone. I hope you get better soon, disgusting behaviour. I feel for his children also, they must be terrified, it’ll come out soon enough who this monster is.”

And Tracy Laithwaite added: “This poor man’s bruises may heal but he will probably never get over the mental trauma this scumbag has caused. I hope you find out who did this and that he gets better soon.”

Anybody with information should contact police on 0161 856 7124, quoting incident number 2952 of 20/10/2019, or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.