Mum of Pudsey teenager kicked in head appeals for witnesses
The mother of a Bradford student with Asperger’s Syndrome who was beaten to the floor and kicked repeatedly in the head has lambasted the “disgusting” behaviour of his attackers.
Nineteen-year-old Daniel Ratcliffe, who has the form of autism which affects sufferers’ social skills, was left so badly bruised and swollen it was suspected that his right eye socket had been broken.
Two male thugs laid into the teenager, punching him to the floor before lashing out at his head and spine as he lay prone by the railway arches at Bradford’s Forster Square station.
Daniel, a first-year digital media and technologies student at the University of Bradford, had gone to catch a train, which it turned out was not running, prior to the attack.
He was leaving the station in the direction of the Midland Hotel to get on a different service from Bradford Interchange when he stopped to chat to a busker beneath one of the arches.
He was approached by two males wearing hoodies who asked him for the time. Daniel pulled his mobile phone from his pocket to check its display. The men demanded he hand it over, and was attacked when he refused. The suspects fled in the direction of the nearby train platforms with Daniel’s phone and wallet.
A railway security guard ran to Daniel’s aid and the busker called 999. His mother, Lynne Ratcliffe, of Pudsey, was called and they attended Bradford Royal Infirmary.
Mrs Ratcliffe said her son was left very shaken.
“It’s hit his confidence,” she said. “He said he is never going to return to that station but he’s saying they are not going to win and he’ll carry on with his life.”
She condemned his attackers. “They are scum,” she said. “They wouldn’t have been able to differentiate if he was a special needs person from someone else but it’s disgusting that they attacked a defenceless young man. He didn’t even get a chance to defend himself.
“I urge anyone to come forward if they know anything. I hope they get punished.”
Witnesses to the robbery or anyone with any information about the attack, which occurred at 8pm on Thursday, should contact Detective Constable 4988 Nicola Richardson on 0845 60 06 606 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.