Town's shock after man seriously hurt in late night attack

London Road, Dereham GV

According to Norfolk police, the assault took place on London Road, near to the entrance to the car park of the recreation ground, visible on the right. - Credit: Noah Vickers

People in a Norfolk town have responded to the news that a man was assaulted and left with a broken jaw bone in a late night attack. 
 
Just after midnight on Sunday, a man in his 30s was walking along London Road, near to the entrance to the Dereham Recreation Ground car park, when he was approached by up to three men who punched and kicked him before making off.

The victim was taken to hospital with a broken jaw bone, requiring surgery.

London Road, Dereham GV

According to Norfolk police, the assault took place on London Road, near to the entrance to the car park of the recreation ground, visible on the left. To the right is Dereham's BP petrol station. - Credit: Noah Vickers

The suspects have been described as white, aged between 18 and 25-years-old and all wearing black. One of the men is believed to have black hair and another blond.

Responding to the news, Dereham mayor Stuart Green said: “It is a great shame to hear of the horrible assault at the weekend. I hope the victim is recovering quickly. 

Stuart Green, 27, the new mayor of Dereham, and believed to be the youngest they have ever had.

Conservative town mayor Stuart Green - Credit: Archant 2020

He added: “Thankfully these kinds of assaults are rare for our town and I'm sure the police will use all their expertise and resources to try and identify the culprits quickly. If anyone does know anything, please pass on this information.” 
 
Asked whether he was surprised by the news, Father Brendan Moffatt, of the nearby Sacred Heart Catholic Church, said: “It’s a peaceable place and people always say that you don’t expect that kind of thing around here.
 
“But there is always the possibility of trouble anywhere, at any time. It’s unpredictable and it just happens. But it is disappointing, because this is, I would say, a safe place,” he added.
 
Conservative district councillor Hilary Bushell said: “It is with great sadness to hear that such a serious assault took place.

Hilary Bushell, mayor of Dereham, has voiced concerns over the impact of 255 new homes in Dereham. P

Conservative district councillor Hilary Bushell - Credit: Archant


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“It never ceases to amaze me that some people can carry out such violence on another person. 
 
“I sincerely hope that the victim is recovering and wish him well.” 
 
Labour town and district councillor Harry Clarke said: "I was shocked to learn of this assault… Wherever any such nasty events take place they are to be deplored. 

Town and district councillor Harry Clarke.

Labour town and district councillor Harry Clarke


 
“We will await the results of any further investigations by the police, and I’m sure the relevant councils and/or highways authorities will support any crime reduction actions that might be recommended."

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Anyone who may have witnessed the incident, or has any CCTV of the area at around the specified time, should contact DC Chrissy Copeman at Swaffham Police Station on 101 quoting reference number 36/39154/21.

Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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