Cruel thugs push partially blind man into lake at South Shields Marine Park in two unprovoked attacks

Police are hunting thugs who twice pushed a vulnerable man into a lake in a South Shields park.

Wednesday, 6th November 2019, 12:39 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th November 2019, 1:55 pm
Colin enjoys feeding the birds

Colin Hall, who is partially-sighted, was assaulted twice in five days while at the park.

The first incident took place at 6.45pm on Sunday, September 29, when Colin was feeding ducks at the lake in Marine Park. He was approached by a teenager on a bicycle who pushed him into the lake.

Colin, 50, lost his specialist glaucoma glasses in the attack.

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Colin Hall has twice been the subject of unprovoked attacks

He was again pushed into the lake at 6.15pm on Thursday, October 3, after being punched in the head by a stranger.

Police have condemned those responsible and are supporting Colin so he can continue to visit the park.

Local charity shop Community Corner has bought him a replacement phone and glasses.

“I have been going to feed the birds since I was a little lad,” said Colin.

Colin with (from left) Cheryl McDonald from Community Corner and Lynne Davis from Community Corner, and PC Juliet Clark

“Nothing like this has ever happened before.

“It has knocked my confidence a bit and I am constantly watching my back. I used to just sit back, relax and enjoy feeding the birds.

“When Community Corner got in touch I was quite overwhelmed. It was just good to know that there was someone on my side and I can’t thank them enough."

Chief Inspector Nicola Wearing said: “The fact that someone has repeatedly targeted Colin and subjected him to this abuse is sickening.

“It is absolutely despicable behaviour and I cannot even begin to comprehend why someone would think that this is acceptable.

“Colin is understandably very shaken up by what has happened and he has been terrified to go to the park to feed the ducks, something he loves to do.

“This incident is being recorded as a disability hate crime.”

The offender in the first incident was a teenager in a blue coat who was riding a BMX bike. There is no detailed description of the person responsible for the second incident.

Officers are keeping an open mind as to whether the same person is responsible.

Anyone who can help can contact police on 101, quoting log 907 29/09/19, or independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via the Northumbria Police website.