Hor­ror brick attack leaves Old­ham ex-sol­dier blind in one eye

Tameside Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - Paul Brit­ton

AFORMER sol­dier has been left blind in one eye af­ter a hor­ror brick attack just three weeks af­ter he got mar­ried.

John Young, 66, and his new wife Elaine, 54, have spo­ken of their dev­as­ta­tion and anger af­ter yobs hurled mis­siles at John’s home in Old­ham.

One shat­tered a win­dow and John, a re­tired lorry driver who served in North­ern Ire­land, was hit in the face by a sec­ond brick thrown as he opened his front door to in­ves­ti­gate.

They were en­joy­ing a glass of prosecco in the lounge and dis­cussing send­ing out thank you cards to wed­ding guests at the time.

The cou­ple, who met at a char­ity func­tion in South­port 15 months ago, tied the knot in Gretna Green, Scot­land, in late March.

Doc­tors ini­tially told John that they may have to re­move his left eye. Fur­ther tests have ruled that out, but he will never see out of it again.

The 2.10am attack on Keswick Av­enue, Fit­ton Hill, is be­ing treated as mo­tive­less.

Po­lice be­lieve it could have been yobs ‘mess­ing around’.

John, who suf­fers from arthri­tis, said: “The doc­tors have done their best, which is good enough for me.

“We are not deal­ing with ra­tio­nal peo­ple here. The only way to de­scribe them is hooli­gans.

“They should be put down for a long time. My wife and friends have been pil­lars of strength.

“I grabbed my walk­ing stick and went out­side, which was a silly thing to do as I have my wife to think about.

“I saw a man crouch­ing down on the path, say­ing ‘come on, come on’. Then my face went funny and I was in the back of the am­bu­lance.”

The cou­ple are still hop­ing to go on hon­ey­moon to Malta next month.

John said: “If I can get on the plane then I’m there, but it’s up to the doc­tors.”

Elaine, who works for the Alzheimer’s So­ci­ety, added: “We had opened a bot­tle of prosecco and were talk­ing about the wed­ding cards.

“I just saw a bloke at the win­dow and then John went out. There was blood ev­ery­where and I was ter­ri­fied.”

Det Con Gareth Gwilliam ap­pealed for wit­nesses.

He said: “It might be there is no mo­tive other than the cul­prits were mess­ing around and for what­ever rea­son, thought it would be funny to throw bricks at some­one’s house.

“How­ever, there is ab­so­lutely noth­ing funny or clever about what they did and as a re­sult of their wan­ton and reck­less ac­tions, this man has been left with a per­ma­nent dis­abil­ity and a loss of sight.

“We need to es­tab­lish who was re­spon­si­ble for this sense­less in­ci­dent and bring them to jus­tice.

“I would there­fore urge any­one who saw any­thing, or if you sus­pect who may be in­volved, to call us im­me­di­ately.”

Call po­lice on 0161 856 3639 or Crimestop­pers on 0800 555 111.

Do­minic Sal­ter

●● Elaine and John Young. John was blinded af­ter yobs threw a mis­sile at him out­side his home

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