Double attack victim’s appeal for law change

S04543H14''Keith Hall at the Shoreham Ferry Bridge
S04543H14''Keith Hall at the Shoreham Ferry Bridge

A MAN attacked by gangs of youths twice in six weeks is appealing to his MP to make young criminals more accountable in court.

Keith Hall, 54, of Shoreham Beach, has been the victim of two separate unprovoked assaults by different gangs of youths in recent weeks, in Brighton and Shoreham.

Mr Hall was attacked by four youths on the High Street last Saturday while he and a friend walked home from the Duke of Wellington at just after midnight.

The pair were headed for the Ferry Bridge when the gang surrounded Mr Hall, who was momentarily left alone while his friend sat down to rest his feet.

“Four youths came from the direction of the church and before I new it they had formed a semi-circle around me six inches away. They asked me what I was doing. I knew they were out for their kicks and an assault ensued.”

Mr Hall said the gang punched and kicked him, but did not try to rob him.

His friend rushed to help, and between them they managed to fight off the gang, but Mr Hall was left with head and back injuries.

“You just don’t expect this sort of thing in Shoreham,” he said.

Mr Hall said police came immediately, but CCTV cameras had not been on and no witnesses had come forward.

He hopes to be able to identify some of his attackers from police mug shots, but is not optimistic about his chances of getting justice.

“The problem is they are not accountable for their actions because they are under 18,” he said.

“If for some reason you can ID them and they go to court, the chances that anything will happen to them are very slim because there is no real way of dealing with them in law.

“They just basically get let off and go out an re-offend.

“They know that as long as they don’t use a weapon they’re more than likely to get away with it even if they are caught,” he said.

“Does this mean someone slightly older than me will have to die from a heart attack before something is done?

“The only thing to do is to get the law changed.”

Six weeks ago, Mr Hall and his 21-year-old daughter were attacked in Brighton by at least 12 youths.

“It was totally without motive. It was purely for kicks, just their idea of fun,” he said.

The youths involved in the Shoreham attack were described as under-18s, white and wearing hooded tops.

Shortly before the attack they had been heard chanting football songs in the area.

Anyone who witnessed the assaults or who saw the group in the area at the time is asked to call police on 101 or email