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Colchester: Appeal made as grieving family are assaulted as they tried to mark the passing of their stillborn daughter by releasing balloons

19:17 04 August 2014

Archant

Police are appealing for information after a grieving family was attacked in a Colchester park as they tried to mark the passing of their stillborn daughter, in an incident labelled ‘appalling’ by officers.

The victims, a man, woman and three children, were all injured in the incident in Highwoods Country Park as they prepared to release balloons in memory of the baby, who had been buried earlier in the day.

It is alleged the family walked past a group of people on the evening of July 23 and comments were then aimed towards them.

According to Essex Police, an argument then took place and the members of the family were assaulted.

Investigating officer, Dc Yusseff Rahmani-Manesh, said: “This was an appalling incident, where the victims had buried their daughter that morning after she was tragically still born.

“They attended the Country Park during the early evening in order to hold their own private ceremony, where they intended to release balloons in their daughter’s memory.

“This traumatic, emotional and private act was destroyed by a group who took it upon themselves to target a grieving family and deliberately burst the sacred balloons before then going on to assault the family.”

It is alleged the father was repeatedly kicked and punched to the ground and the woman, a family friend in her 40s, was punched in the face and suffered two broken fingers.

The father’s three children, aged between 11 and 17, were also assaulted and sustained minor injuries.

Six people have since been arrested in connection with the incident, which happened near the lake at about 6.30pm.

They are a 21-year-old man, a 23-year-old man, a 20-year-old woman, a 26-year-old woman; a 14-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl. They have all been bailed until September 19.

Dc Rahmani- Manesh has appealed for anyone with information about the incident to contact him at Colchester CID on 101. Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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