‘I want justice’: Victim speaks out after attack by schoolboy in Dagenham

The victim of an alleged assault in Dagenham Heathway has spoken out. Picture: Google

The victim of an alleged assault in Dagenham Heathway has spoken out. Picture: Google - Credit: Archant

A pensioner has called for justice after a teenager punched him in the face when he defended a woman.

Retired Post Office worker David Gregory stepped in when a group of teens began taunting his friend in Dagenham Heathway.

They disappeared after David and his friend, Mary Mulhall, threatened to call the police, but returned while the pair were waiting at a bus stop.

The name calling started again with a couple of passers-by intervening, telling the lads to stop. The friends tried to get away from them, but one boy lashed out, hitting David in the jaw after he told the youngster to leave his friend alone, go home and grow up.

David said: "I was taken aback. I didn't feel good. I took it like a man but sort of recoiled, then thought I must pull Mary out of the way."

The schoolboys fled as David phoned the police. The 66-year-old's jaw was knocked out of place leaving him unable to chew solid food following the attack.

A Met spokesman confirmed that officers were called at 2.23pm on January 29 after Mary reported being harassed by a group of teenage boys in Dagenham Heathway and that David was assaulted after he intervened.

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"We can't just have people running around and picking on people. I don't want revenge, I want justice. This sort of thing should not go on," David said.

But Mary, 54, said it wasn't the first time the gang had targeted her, claiming they had been harassing her since January 2019, calling her "cat woman", mocking and making fun of her.

"I knew it would culminate in trouble sooner or later. It used to rattle me a bit. I spoke to the police but it didn't stop. When they're with their mates, they're braver," Mary said.

"We just want people to know what's happening with some of these youngsters and how they behave. It's shocking behaviour. They need to be caught.

"I'm feeling fearful to be honest. I see groups coming towards me and quickly walk another way," she added.

Mary described the attacker as about 15 years old, approximately five foot four, slim, olive-skinned and with a local accent.

To date there have been no arrests. Anyone with information should call the police on 101 or contact the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.