A large gang of teens chased a member of Corby’s rough sleeping community through the town centre last night before setting on him and subjecting him to a violent attack while he lay on the ground.
A brave member of the public intervened and called police while the incident was happening last night (Thursday, June 20) at about 7.20pm.
The 40-strong gang, which has been causing trouble in the town since last summer, chased the man - who has only been homeless for a month - through the town centre before catching him outside McDonald’s and kicking him while he was lying on the ground.
A woman who was watching from McDonald’s in Corporation Street heroically left her two children to run outside and try to physically shield him from the blows. She was spat on while she attempted to help.
A Northamptonshire Police spokesman said that the youths were seen kicking the man on the ground but that he received no serious physical injuries. The gang was dispersed following the incident and police are investigating although no arrests were made.
Ashlee Duncan of Corby Rise, a homeless charity that provides hot meals, tents and practical help to the town’s rough sleepers, said that she had nothing but admiration for the woman who helped.
“She’s so brave. She could have been seriously injured herself,” said Ashlee.
“We can’t thank her enough.”
Workers from Corby Rise went out into the town’s woodland last night to find the victim and check he was OK. He was eventually discovered by one of the group’s outreach workers Jay.
“He’s got a swollen face but he’s otherwise OK,” said Ashlee.
“He’s only been homeless for about four weeks so he’s vulnerable. The permanent homeless shelter in Corby can’t come soon enough.”
Ashlee said her and her volunteers would be happy to receive training from the police to instigate patrols around the town to ensure the safety of the homeless community, which is not living at various sites around the town and in the woods after the winter night shelter at the town’s former police station shut down.
The gang was seen on this week’s episode of Channel 4’s 999 What’s Your Emergency swarming around the junction of Corporation Street and George Street. Several dispersal orders have been in place on the site following months of trouble.
The town’s homeless community has been well-supported by the majority of people in Corby although three years ago a homeless man’s tent was set alight while he was in it. The man suffered horrific burns.
It was announced this week that a new homeless shelter is proposed for a site in Dorking Walk on the Kingswood estate