Cyclist’s fear after attack by teen gang

Attacked: Mark Darlow was forced to take two days off work after the incident in Holbeach.

Attacked: Mark Darlow was forced to take two days off work after the incident in Holbeach.

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A MAN who was repeatedly punched and kicked by a group of teenagers in Holbeach says he will now think twice before going out in the town on his own at night.

Mark Darlow (23), who has Crohns disease, says the attack at about 12.30am on Saturday could have been fatal if he hadn’t protected his head and stomach.

He has been left with a suspected broken nose and swelling and bruising to his ribs, shoulders, back and head.

He said: “I was cycling from a friend’s house and there was a gang of about ten teenagers hanging around near NatWest.

“As I went past them they started hurling abuse at me. I stopped and they piled on me for about 15 minutes.”

Mr Darlow said two women tried to stop the assault but they were punched and thrown off.

“I can remember getting up three times and each time they slapped me back down and kicked me,” he said. “I remember one of them saying I was lucky they did not have a knife.”

After the assault, Mr Darlow discovered £70 was missing from his wallet.

His bicycle had also been stamped on, buckling both wheels and snapping the chain.

Mr Darlow said: “I have lived in this area all of my life and I have never had that before. I’m more shocked that it happened in Holbeach. It’s a quiet place.

“It’s certainly made me think twice about going out at night, especially on my own.”

Police inspector Paul Timmins said more patrols are now covering in the Holbeach area since the force was restructured.

He said: “Since the beginning of April, assaults in South Holland have been at the same levels as they were last year and have, over the past three years, shown a general reduction. Holbeach, in particular, has not shown any signs of increase.

“We are aware that assaults will occur and we cannot be everywhere at once. However, I would encourage anyone who is the victim of an assault or who witnesses an assault to contact us immediately.

“The quicker we know about an offence the better chance we have of securing a conviction. Lincolnshire Police focus on preventing and dealing with assaults.”