POLICE have issued an urgent appeal for witnesses after receiving a report that a 66-year-old man with mobility problems was assaulted by two young men in Newtown St Boswells on Monday, writes Andrew Keddie.
The attack, reported by the victim’s elderly wife the following day, occurred in Park Crescent at around 9pm.
“We are treating this incident, which is extremely uncommon in Newtown, very seriously,” said a police spokesperson yesterday.
“We are determined to bring the perpetrators of this cowardly attack to justice and would ask anyone with information to come forward.”
The police say the man, who usually walks with the aid of a stick, had been in one of the village’s two pubs and was walking home via Park Crescent when he lost his balance and fell to the ground.
He was then approached by two males, one of whom, described as being in his mid-20s with dark brown hair, asked him if he was okay and if he needed assistance to get up.
But what appeared to be an act of kindness quickly took a sinister turn when, having helped the pensioner to his feet, the suspect asked him if he had money.
“When the gentleman said he had no money, the young man who had enquired about his wellbeing pushed him back to the ground whereby he sustained an injury to his face,” said the police spokesperson. “Then, when he was lying on the ground, the other assailant, for whom we unfortunately do not have a description, kicked him on the side of the body.”
The two suspects then walked off and the victim’s wife reported the incident to police at 8.35am on Tuesday.
“It appears the man was in some pain and suffering from shock, but the fact that he sustained no serious injury when he was pushed to the ground and then kicked does not minimise the fact that this was a totally inappropriate attack on a vulnerable, elderly man,” said the spokesperson.
“This is certainly not a common occurence in Newtown St Boswells and we hope members of the public, particularly those who were in the central area near the pubs at the time, will be able to help us.”
Anyone with information is urged to call the police on 01450 375051.