Yobs target Big Issue seller

PUBLISHED: 09:36 23 July 2010

SIDMOUTH Big Issue seller Antony Shannon was attacked by thieves in Exeter last week.

SIDMOUTH Big Issue seller Antony Shannon was attacked by thieves in Exeter last week.

Antony, who sells the magazine in High Street, had £70 stolen at knifepoint by two teens last Wednesday.

They struck as he was withdrawing the money from a cash point while making his way from Exeter Bus Station to the Big Issue offices in South Street, at around 1pm.

Antony, 36, said: “I noticed two youngsters watching me, but didn’t take any notice. Then they came over and said ‘give us your money’. I tried to laugh it off and walk away. The next thing I knew they’ve got me by the throat and one of them pushes the blade into the side of my face.”

He went straight to the NHS walk-in centre in Sidwell Street and, from there, was taken to Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital. The gash in his face needed eight stitches. He has reported the attack to the police.

Antony, who is bi-polar and has a history of manic depression, was left shaken by the incident.

Having been helped off the streets by the HomeChoice scheme and having been clean from drugs for four years, he is keen to stay on the right track. His Big Issue work has helped with this.

Having been targeted by yobs before, this latest attack has left him more determined than ever to move to Sidmouth from his current place in Exeter. He said: “I’d rather sleep rough here than have somewhere to live in Exeter, but when the winter comes it’s too cold for that.”

The money taken was for his rent, and kind Sidmothians have been giving what they can to replace it. Antony said: “They’re such wonderful people in Sidmouth, that’s why I travel here from Exeter every day.”

His Christian beliefs have helped him put the attack in perspective.

“Things like this just make you stronger,” he said. “I want to remind people to be careful out there.”


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