Appeal for witnesses after substance is thrown at man in Beccles in early morning attack

Picture: Archant library.

Picture: Archant library. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

Police are appealing for witnesses after a man was attacked with an unknown substance in Beccles.

Officers were called just after 1.25am this morning, Thursday, July 20, to an incident in Fair Close.

The victim – aged in his 50s – was woken-up by noises outside and when he went to investigate, discovered a group of men who squirted him in the eye with a substance.

Local officers searched the area, with the assistance of the dog unit and National Police Air Service helicopter, but the suspects were not found.

The victim was taken to hospital for treatment to his eye, and although it is not yet known what the substance thrown was, it is not believed to be corrosive.

Detective Sergeant Jamie Rose, of East CID, said: 'We are obviously in the very early stages of this investigation, but at the current time we believe this was intended to be a targeted attack against a specific individual. However, it would appear the man targeted has been a victim of mistaken identity and suffered an injury to his eye as a result.

'Although we do not yet know what the substance was, it does not appear to be acid or any other corrosive liquid. Tests will be carried out to try and determine exactly what it was.'

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Beccles mayor Richard Stubbings said he was 'appalled' to hear of such an incident happening in the town.

He said: 'I hope that the victim fully recovers. It is disturbing that this was a case of mistaken identity. I only hope that the police catch the perpetrators quickly and I urge anyone who knows anything to contact the police.

'It is important that we all report all incidents to the police so that they give us more resources.'

DS Rose is appealing for anyone who believes they may know who is responsible for the attack, or anyone who was in the area at the time, to contact police immediately.

Anyone with information should call East CID at Lowestoft Police Station on 101 quoting reference 49607/17, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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