Stepping out of the way results in vicio

The victim of a vicious street assault last night told how he suffered a fractured skull and lost all feeling in the side of his face - simply for stepping out of the way of his attacker.

The victim of a vicious street assault last night told how he suffered a fractured skull and lost all feeling in the side of his face - simply for stepping out of the way of his attacker.

Police are appealing for witnesses following the attack which took place in broad daylight in a busy Norwich street.

Now 53-year-old victim William Pleass has offered a £100 reward for anyone who comes forward with crucial information leading to a conviction.

Mr Pleass, who lives in the Dereham Road area of the city and has a bone disorder, suffered three fractures to his face and skull, sustained damage to the nerve endings on the left of his face and cuts and bruises in the attack.

The bleeding caused by the attack could also have left him blind in one eye.

He was walking along a path between Clarkson Road and Dereham Road when he saw three youths approaching.

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“I stepped out of the way to let them pass. One of them threw a can at me and I felt some liquid splash on my clothing,” Mr Pleass said. “I turned and asked them 'what was that?' The next thing I knew, one of them was sprinting towards me. I turned to run away but felt a punch to the side of my head and fell to the floor.

“When I looked up I thought they were going to attack me again but then they just turned and casually walked off.

“There were people around but nobody came to help me. I managed to make it to the nearby pharmacy where they called for the police and an ambulance.”

Following the incident which happened between 4.15pm and 4.25pm on January 24, Mr Pleass was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital where he was told the extent of his injuries.

He said: “My injuries are quite bad considering I was only punched once but they could have been even worse.

“I'm also nervous to go out into the street now - the other day I was walking to the shops and thought I saw one of my attackers.

“I just hope somebody can come forward with information so that these people can be caught and I can put my mind at rest that this won't happen again to me or anybody else.”

The main attacker is described a being white, in his late teens to early 20s, of average build and wearing a white jacket-style top.

A police spokesman said: “A search of the local area was carried out at the time of the incident to try to find the offenders and a number of other inquiries were carried out.

“We are now treating this incident as grievous bodily harm. This was a completely unprovoked attack which has left this victim with some very nasty injuries.

“We would strongly urge anyone who knows who the culprits are or who has any information about them to contact police as soon as possible.”

Call Norfolk police on 0845 456 4567 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.