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Schoolboys seen attacking man in subway

AN ASSAULT by schoolboys on a man in an underpass has angered a charity that helps the homeless.

The attack by a group of boys, believed to have been in school uniform, took place in the Ridinggate underpass at Canterbury.

It was witnessed by a 92-year-old who has written a letter of complaint to two schools and the police.

Younger boys were heard shouting encouragement as the older ones kicked and punched a man sitting on the floor.

Lloyd Hobbard-Mitchell, chief executive of homeless charity the Scrine Foundation, said: "There is no excuse for this kind of senseless abhorrent crime.

"Being randomly beaten by passers-by affects individuals’ sense of self worth enormously."

That attack happened a week before Christmas. In a separate incident on Friday, January 11, Big Issue seller Chris Stanley was verbally abused by youths who threw a plastic bottle at him and his dog.

Mr Stanley, 36, said: "I reported an incident to police a few weeks ago and they did attend but this time when I rang 999 and said I was a Big Issue seller they told me they couldn't help."

Police spokeswoman Jane Walker said incidents involving the homeless were taken as seriously as any other.

Mr Hobbard-Mitchell spoke out last August against prejudice and intolerance towards the city's homeless after a man needed hospital treatment following an assault in the Wincheap area of the city.

* See this week's Kentish Gazette for the full story.

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