A 63-year-old Clitheroe man was knocked unconscious after asking a teenage gang to stop throwing litter.
Nigel Fairhurst lost three teeth and sustained severe bruising to his face as a result of the “sickening attack” while he walked home on Saturday between 8 and 8-15 pm, after watching a game of football at a local pub.
Police have launched a witness appeal and are now taking all steps in their power to identify those responsible.
The grandad-of-one, who was rushed to Royal Blackburn Hospital, says he feels “disgusted” by the lack of respect towards elders from the younger generation, but remains defiant he won’t let the “bullies” win.
Now recovering at home after the unprovoked attack, the retired director of a security firm said: “This was a dreadful, deeply upsetting and sickening attack. I haven’t been able to sleep since.”
In the hours before the incident, the married father-of-two had gone to the Wagon and Horses pub, in Clitheroe, with his son to watch his beloved team Liverpool play against Crystal Palace.
He punched me several times in the face and chestNigel Fairhurst
As he walked home alone via Highmoor Park, he noticed a gang of three boys and three girls throwing empty cider cans into the nearby stream.
“I asked them to stop throwing litter and, to be fair, the girls began picking up the cans straight away. One of the boys disappeared from the scene, but the other two walked up to my face.
“It was very intimidating. Then one of them walked away for a second and said to his friend ‘Come on, let’s get him’.
“He punched me several times in the face and chest. I tried to defend myself by restraining the other lad, but was being repeatedly punched by his friend. I was knocked to the ground unconscious. A nearby resident called the emergency services and the boys fled the scene before the ambulance arrived.”
He added: “I lost three teeth in the attack, have suffered bruising and severe headaches. I was discharged the same night from hospital, but have been very traumatised and not been able to sleep since.
“It’s been very upsetting for my family too. These lads were aged 15 or 16 and it wouldn’t have mattered what I had said to them that day, they were out to assault someone. It’s disgusting that the youth of today lack morals and respect.
“My family and I moved to the Ribble Valley in 1993 and we love living here. I regularly visit the brook with my six-year-old granddaughter. We’ve enjoyed collected tadpoles from there in the past. It’s a shame a minority of youngsters are spoiling today’s society. It’s terrible what happened to me, but it’s not going to stop me walking home alone.”
Mr Fairhurst expressed thanks to the actions of the police who he said have been “brilliant”. Sgt Dave Simpson, of Clitheroe Police, is investigating the incident. He said: “This was a vicious and serious assault on a 63-year-old man who was simply walking home. The thoughtless act of the teenage lads could have ended violently and tragically. We would urge anyone who witnessed the assault to come forward and contact police on 101 or the free and confidential Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.”