Disabled Bradford man was punched during unprovoked assault in city centre

Richard Ibbotson, of Cutler Heights, was the subject of an unprovoked attack

Richard Ibbotson, of Cutler Heights, was the subject of an unprovoked attack

First published in News

A disabled man was punched to the ground in a “sickening assault” as he tried to cross a road in Bradford city centre with his carer.

Richard Ibbotson was hit “two or three times” as he used a pelican crossing in Cheapside.

The attacker, who was a passenger in a dark green Nissan Micra, laughed when Mr Ibbotson’s carer, Melanie King, shouted at him to stop because he was disabled.

“It is really disgusting, attacking a vulnerable person like that,” said Mrs King.

Mr Ibbotson, 43, has severe epilepsy and learning and behavioural difficulties. He needs almost round-the-clock care.

Police are now appealing for witnesses to the attack, which happened on February 17 at about 3pm, to come forward.

Mrs King said: “We approached the pedestrian crossing at the Midland Hotel, waited for the lights to change, and crossed the road,” said Mrs King.

“I noticed a car coming down at great speed. It skidded to a halt at the lights. They looked at Richard and revved the engine and went back and forth, trying to intimidate us. Then the passenger shouted abuse, the car drove at us and swerved past us, while the lights were still on red.”

She added: “The passenger jumped out of the car and punched Richard to the ground. I shouted ‘stop, can’t you see he’s disabled’, but the passenger just laughed.”

The attacker and the driver of the Micra are described as Asian males, aged in their 20s.

Inspector Andy Gallant, who leads the City neighbourhood policing team, said: “This was a sickening assault on a vulnerable member of the community and I am appealing to anyone who witnessed this attack to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Mrs King added: “It really set Richard back for weeks. He would not leave the house because he was so afraid.”

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