The teenagers accused of attacking a disabled woman with eggs and flour before taking a sick selfie with her have asked for police protection amid concerns for their safety.
The gang posed behind the vulnerable 49-year-old woman as she cowered on a park bench in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, on Friday. The shocking images were then shared on social media including Facebook.
Four boys – two aged 17 and two aged 15 – were arrested and bailed following Friday’s incident and have said they have asked for police protection following death threats. One of them is celebrating his 16th birthday and his mother said the incident risks wrecking his party.
She told MailOnline: ‘We can’t say anything about what went on over the weekend but my son’s name has been leaked over the internet and we’ve had threats.
‘I’ve reported the abuse to police and we are now under their protection. If anyone comes to our home to cause problems, we have a number we can call which will get the police here straight away. ‘This isn’t what we need. It’s my son’s 16th birthday and we’ve got family here for his party.’
The father of one of the other boys says he marched his son straight to the local police station to confess to what he had done before grounding him. He said the 16-year-old was walking home from the centre of Bury and had cut through the park when he saw two of his friends.
They urged him to join them in a photo behind the woman who was covered in eggs and flour. He then left shortly afterwards but told his parents what happened when pictures of the attack began circulating on social media. His father said: ‘There’s no way he’s going out for the next few weeks unless I’m with him – both to keep an eye on him and to make sure he is safe from people who want to take revenge.
‘There’s been death threats made against him online and we’ve told the police about it.;
The stepmother of one of the 17-year-old’s told the paper: ‘He’s not a tearaway – he’s just been a stupid boy’. Meanwhile, the victim has spoken out after the attack and condemned the teenagers.
She said: ‘I don’t consider it acceptable but I don’t particularly want to escalate the current tension in the area. I’ve got to be careful with how I deal with things obviously.’ She added: ‘People have rallied round me.’
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