Flour attack on woman with disabilities prompts fears of vigilantism


July 30, 2018 11:33:36

A British comedian has caused fears of vigilantism after saying four teenagers who allegedly assaulted a woman with disabilities and covered her in flour and eggs “deserve to have your heads ripped off”.

Key points:

  • A British comedian shared photos of the attack to his 750,000 followers
  • He says the perpetrators “deserve to have your heads ripped off”
  • The post has led to at least one man being mistaken for one of the alleged attackers

At least one man said he had been threatened after being mistaken for one of the boys who were pictured in a disturbing photo laughing as the woman cowered on a park bench in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

The woman, who is in her 40s, was severely distressed by the incident but was physically unharmed, police said.

Two 17-year-old boys and two 15-year-olds were arrested in connection with the incident but have been released on bail pending further enquiries.

The boys were arrested after the image, which was originally sent via Snapchat, was posted online sparking outrage among social media users.

Comedian Robin Armstrong shared the photograph to his 750,000 Facebook followers calling for help identifying the youths.

“I can’t believe my eyes! Here is four worthless boys who have surrounded an old woman with disabilities, poured water on her and emptied a bag of flower on her before posing for a photo,” Mr Armstrong said in a video shared on Facebook.

“That photograph says a thousand things, I don’t even have to say any words.”

Armstrong said the teens chased the woman down after she attempted to run away and bullied her further.

“You deserve to have your heads ripped off your shoulders,” he continued.

“You’re going to be chased out of your city — hunted down.

“Your mums’ and dads’ lives are f***ing wrecked because of you.”

The post has been shared 51,000 times and had 2.3 million views at the time of publication.

But it has led to at least one man being wrongly identified as one of the attackers.

“I’m much older than the boys in the photo and now that’s cleared up, I would appreciate it if people stopped messaging me and threatening me about this,” the man said on the post.

Suffolk police said they were aware of the amount of interest the attack had generated online.

“We know this incident may have caused concern and anger both in the local community and online but we would like to reassure everyone that we are tackling the matter robustly and supporting the victim.”






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