A BURNLEY former soldier has hit out at the “cowardly scum” who attacked and robbed him of almost £300 leaving him with broken ribs, a black eye, fractured cheekbone and cuts and bruises.
Mr Paul Shepherd (51), who served in Northern Ireland for nine years at the height of the conflict, said he is afraid to go out and has suffered flashbacks from his time in the Army since the attack around 9 p.m. on Thursday, May 19th, near the JESUN takeaway.
He had won £200 at the bookmakers just before he was assaulted in Harold Street and police believe his attackers could have seen him win the money and followed him.
Mr Shepherd, who has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder since he left the Army, also had his mobile phone stolen in the incident, which left him in the Royal Blackburn Hospital for three days.
“What annoys me is that I did nine years in the Army in Northern Ireland. I got shot and blown up but you come out of the Army and you think everything’s going to be OK. Then something like this happens,” said Mr Shepherd, of Dunoon Street, who was awarded two medals for serving his country.
“I came out of the William Hill bookies in Coal Clough Lane and went to the chip shop in Harold Street and then I was attacked. I only live around the corner from where this happened. I’ve never had any problems like this before. They jumped all over my ribs. They are cowards.”
Police said Mr Shepherd was approached from behind by at least one but possibly two attackers and as he turned around was punched repeatedly in the face. As he lay on the floor they continued to kick him in the ribs, breaking four of them.
After the attack Mr Shepherd managed to get to his feet and staggered back to the chip shop where staff called paramedics and the police.
“It’s made me very wary of going out. I used to walk everywhere but now I get a taxi. I was attacked by two people but I only saw one. These are not nice people. The cowards attacked me from behind and I was left black and blue. They are scum.”
One of the attackers is white with shoulder-length hair and is believed to be in his late 20s.
DC Jonathan Penson, of Burnley CID, said police are investigating and appealed for anyone with information to call 01282 472017 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.