Man fears being 'crippled for life' after seafront hate attack

Police appeal for witnesses to hate crime in Great Yarmouth.

The man and his disabled wife, who have asked to remain anonymous, were crossing the road at Fallen Angels when the incident happened. Police have appealed for witnesses. - Credit: Google maps

A couple from Hopton subjected to a potentially life-altering attack on Great Yarmouth seafront have spoken out about their ordeal in the hope the culprits can be brought to justice.

The 59-year-old man and his disabled wife, who have asked for their identities to be protected, described how the man sustained serious spinal injuries following the confrontation which could lead to permanent damage and disability.

He said the couple were visiting the town for the Out There Festival on September 19 and were crossing the road at Fallen Angels on the seafront when a car motioned to them to pass.

However, as they made their way across the vehicle, a Ford Focus revved its engine and made towards them, the man said, causing them to step back.

In the moment the man made a comment to his disabled wife, who was using a mobility scooter, about "inconsiderate drivers", which was overheard by the motorist who then stopped the car, got out, and made rude remarks about the man's size.

He then punched him in the chest causing him to fall on his wife, break the scooter, and slam to the ground.

Meanwhile, a passenger stepped out of the car and verbally abused his wife, calling her "a waste of space."

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The couple then made their own way to Gorleston's James Paget Hospital where an x-ray revealed the man had sustained a spinal injury in the fall which could require surgery and carried risks of paralysis and problems in the future.

He is off work and on strong painkillers.

The couple were so shaken they had hardly been out since, the man said.

Police have issued a witness appeal focusing on the verbal abuse, classing it as a disability hate crime.

The male victim however was keen to stress the impact of the physical attack.

"If this individual is at large in this area, he needs reprimanding. The thing is he could be out there thinking he is getting away with it and do it again," he said.

"I could be crippled for life."

Anyone who witnessed the incident, or anyone with information is asked to contact PC Marcus Anderson at Great Yarmouth Police Station on 101, quoting crime number 36/69275/21.