Safe in London - attacked in Sidmouth

PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 November 2017

Lidl in Woolbrook Road, Sidmouth. Image from Google Maps

Lidl in Woolbrook Road, Sidmouth. Image from Google Maps

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A Londoner who has never been the victim of a crime in the capital was left shocked and bloody after an alleged 'unprovoked' attack in Sidmouth.

Shelley Kellett said her uncle, an interior designer who asked not to be named, was visiting to help fix up her house after her recent divorce when the incident unfolded on Saturday evening (November 18).

She told the Herald he did not fight back against the ‘very drunk’ man and the incident in Lidl car park was witnessed by a number of people.

Ms Kellett, a Sidmouth mum of two, said: “I can’t believe it. My uncle’s never been a victim of crime in London but he comes down here to do me a good turn and this happens.

“It certainly wasn’t provoked. My uncle didn’t throw any punches – he just put his hands up to defend himself. He was punched five times, mostly in the head. The man only stopped when he fell over and hit his head on the concrete floor. He just legged it.

“My uncle’s shaken up. It’s hit him emotionally. He’s very stiff and has large lumps on his head.”

The community carer said her uncle had been driving along Woolbrook Road and beeped his horn at a pedestrian who was about to step into the road. The man followed him into the Lidl car park claiming he had right of way, and Ms Kellett’s uncle, 60, replied that he did not want to knock the man over.

“He just launched himself at him [my uncle],” said Ms Kellett, of Lymebourne Park. “There were some people who were phoning the police as it was happening. That’s when the man ran off towards the football club. He was very drunk – apparently he just stank of alcohol.

“I split up from my husband a couple of months ago. I have two kids, aged nine and 11, and have been very busy, so my uncle came down to help me out. He comes down three or four times a year. He’s a very sensitive, lovely person who dotes on my kids. This hasn’t put him off coming back.”

The 44-year-old said her uncle, a ‘fit’ man who has climbed to Everest base camp, is usually reluctant to see a doctor but put up no resistance when his sister said he should go to A&E on Saturday night.

A police spokesman said: “Police has received reports of an assault near the Lidl store in Sidmouth at around 6.10pm on Saturday, November 18.

“The victim, a 60-year-old man from London, was punched and sustained bumps and bruises to his face and head.

“The suspect is described as in his 40s and wearing a pale blue knit hat with a single stripe and a jacket.

“Anyone with any information or who can help police identify the offender is asked to contact the police on 101@dc.police.uk quoting crime reference CR/100600/17.”

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