Police appeal to catch 'cowardly thug'

PUBLISHED: 09:06 20 November 2009 | UPDATED: 00:35 16 June 2010

THE police are appealing for help tracing the cowardly thug who glassed a 22-year-old man who was helping out at Topsham Rugby Club on bonfire night. Sam Warren, from Payhembury, near Honiton, needed part of his nose stitched back on after he was brutal

THE police are appealing for help tracing the 'cowardly' thug who glassed a 22-year-old man who was helping out at Topsham Rugby Club on bonfire night.

Sam Warren, from Payhembury, near Honiton, needed part of his nose stitched back on after he was brutally attacked by a young thug after he confronted a group of rowdy teenagers at the firework celebrations.

The police have condemned the attack as 'cowardly' and are urging any witnesses to get in touch.

Detective Constable Suzanne Vranch, of Exeter CID, said: "The victim had experienced problems with a group of youths during the evening and had confronted them about their disorderly behaviour.

"He asked them to stop rocking on a fence that displayed sponsor boards, but one of the group members began to swear and make threats towards the victim.

"The victim was then hit in the face with a glass bottle by one of the group.

"The male offender then made off across the field towards the main entrance of the club and on to Topsham Road.

"The victim was taken to hospital and had to have eight stitches to his nose area."

"This is a cowardly attack that has taken place at a popular annual social event.

"The victim has been very fortunate to have escaped any serious injury. However, the fact that a glass bottle has been used as a weapon will not be ignored.

"This event attracted a large attendance of people from the local community.

"It is believed that several people will have knowledge of this incident, or may have even witnessed it. We desperately urge these individuals to come forward and assist the police in their inquiries."

Mr Warren said the attack would make him think twice about intervening again.

He believes he would have been blinded if he had not closed his eye.

He said: "It has made me think twice about confronting youths about their behaviour - it could be a knife next time.

"I saw a group of youths, aged around 14 to 17, pulling the rugby club's sponsor boards down so I asked them to have a little bit more respect.

"One of them squared up to me and was being very aggressive.

"I turned to walk away and I saw his fist come up, so I thought he was going to punch me.

"I dipped my head and he smashed the glass into the side of my head - it split my head open and caught my left nostril.

"I had to have stitches to hold my nostril on and my head was glued back together."

Anyone who witnessed the glassing or who has any information is asked to contact Det Con Vranch on 08452 777444, quoting crime reference DE/09/12260.


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