A BAILDON man today told how he feared he was going to die as he was beaten by a mob outside his home.

Shocking footage from CCTV cameras, installed by Simon Clarke after previous incidents, captures him being repeatedly struck with a baseball bat after he was surrounded by a gang.

Mr Clarke, who is married with two teenage sons, was attacked after going outside to confront half a dozen youths who were throwing stones at his brother's parked van.

As he remonstrated with them, outside his home in Old School Way, Baildon, a mob he estimated at being between 30 and 40 in number appeared.

"It was like something from Zulu Dawn," he said today.

He said one of the gang, armed with a baseball bat, told him: "I am going to kill you."

Another youth then ran up and hit him and he lost his balance.

He said: "I was stumbling. I knew I was in trouble. I curled up into a ball. The man with the baseball bat hit me several times in the side. I tried to get away from that and I got kicked in the back. I had a footprint in my back."

The attackers were aged between 16 and 20 and predominantly white. They were mainly wearing tracksuits and started to pull their hoods up as the attacked progressed.

"I'm not sure if that's because they realised how serious it was getting or they spotted the cameras," the 44-year-old said.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Simon Clarke at his home in Baildon

Mr Clarke, who runs a social website supporting people affected by cancer, said it seemed like all the gang was attacking him.

"I tried to grab one of them and throw him to one side, but I was getting weak and started to lose consciousness."

He said his brother, George, 50, came out of the house and knocked away some of the attackers "like skittles," but he too was assaulted.

"I remember seeing somebody hitting him on the head with a golf club. I somehow managed to get to my feet and tried to grab the person on top of him. They then started to disperse and I slumped to the ground.


"The attack must have lasted about three minutes but it just seemed to go on and on. All my energy was gone. I was soaked in blood and I was starting to think that the next blow was going to kill me."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

A still from the CCTV footage of the attack showing youths approaching Simon Clarke

Mr Clarke suffered gashes and bruising, which needed stitching or glueing at hospital, and was left with the imprints of boots and the baseball bat on his body.

He had paid nearly £400 last September for eight CCTV cameras to protect his family after a number of incidents, including a street attack on his 17-year-old son, youths knocking on his door asking for his son, and a hockey stick being found outside the door.

Shortly before Christmas the windscreen of his brother's van was damaged by youths after they tried to confront his son, who they wrongly believed had given names to police of suspects in a shop robbery.

He urged: "People need to come forward. A number of young people who were there I don't believe were intent on what happened, but they are still complicit. The police, and their parents, need to explain to these kids that they can't hide. They have got to come forward."

Mr Clarke explained he had given a lot to the community, previously working with ex-offenders for the protection of the public, and helping to house women and children who had been subjected to domestic abuse. The former football coach had also set up a sports project for disadvantaged people.

But he said: "For the first time I am extremely nervous now. I have diabetes and an iron disorder and I am walking with a stick. I can't stay at this house anymore. I can't protect my family here. We have to leave."

West Yorkshire Police is treating the incident as an assault.

A spokesman said: "Police were called to Cliffe Way in Baildon at about 7.25pm on New Year's Day, following a report of a disturbance involving weapons.

"As officers were travelling to the scene, a further report came in to say two men had been attacked and injured.

"Officers found the men, aged 50 and 44, had suffered head injuries, which were not thought to be life threatening.

"The suspects had left the scene.

"Officers have spoken to the victims and are carrying out further inquiries to establish who was responsible for this attack and their motives.

"Anyone with information is asked to contact police at Shipley on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111."