Mother of racist attack victim in Woodbridge hits out at ‘growing culture of intolerance’
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The mother of a boy traumatised by an unprovoked racial attack in a Suffolk town has spoken out against entrenched intolerance.
The woman, whose son was racially abused and punched in the stomach on his way back from a gym class in Woodbridge, said the 14-year-old was still subdued two weeks after being assaulted by the stranger, and that the family had discussed moving as a result.
She said intolerance was commonplace and that people were naive to think otherwise.
"Anyone who thinks this kind of thing doesn't happen in Suffolk is sadly mistaken," she added.
"It's worrying that a child was attacked without any provocation, for no other reason but the colour of his skin. My son's demeanour wasn't aggressive or threatening."
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The attacker was white, 5ft 11in, in his 30s, of medium build, bald, with a ginger beard. He wore a grey jacket, dark jeans and white trainers, and ran off after the attack, in North Hill, at about 7.15pm on Monday, June 10.
Last week, town councillor Chris Mapey said he was appalled by the incident, which he insisted was not indicative of the community.
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The boy's mother described the attack as a sad reality of growing up in a culture of growing intolerance, and that what happened to her son demonstrated the "environment of ignorance" in which the attacker was raised.
"It feels like it's getting worse, not better," she added.
"There seems to be a growing culture of intolerance towards people who are different - be it the colour of their skin, because they're skinny, or have red hair.
"I won't let my son wallow in what happened, but he's down and doesn't want to talk about it."
The boy's mother disagreed with suggestions that whoever abused her son had antiquated views and knew no better.
"If my son walks into a shop, he is paid more attention. I've taught him to look but don't ever touch," she added.
"Rather than saying they embrace difference, people will have to look at themselves and realise they don't.
"There's no safety in numbers for us, because there are no numbers here, so I'm worried that people will now start speculating about 'which one' it was.
" I don't expect whoever did this to get caught."
Police have asked anyone with information to call 101 or email Simon.Mortimer@suffolk.pnn.police.uk, quoting 37/34343/19.