Published: 12:00, 23 November 2017
Thugs pounced on an elderly man just yards from his home – snatching his wallet, bank card and even his bus pass.
John O’Connor was kicked as he fell to the ground in the car park outside Gillingham’s Dog and Bone pub on Sunday night.
He was walking past on his way home from the train station after visiting his brother in London.
Now his daughter Suzie and granddaughter Kerrie have launched a poster campaign to track down those responsible.
The 79-year-old former bus driver was targeted in Jeffery Street at about 6.30pm.
Despite the battering, which left him shocked and confused, he managed to struggle home.
It was not until the following morning when he visited 21-year-old Kerrie at her work in Gillingham, that he shared his harrowing experience.
She said: “I could tell that something was wrong.
“Gillingham is a massively hostile place – and the police don’t seem to be doing anything about it" - Kash Francis
“His face was blotchy and he looked like he had been crying.”
Irish-born Mr O’Connor, a grandfather of seven, was grabbed from behind by three men aged about 25, who pulled his backpack. He suffered cuts and bruises.
Daughter Suzie, 40, said: “He is staying with me at the moment and finding it difficult to sleep.
“He keeps gazing out the window.”
Kerrie, a payroll manager at Green Street-based Team Support Agency, said: “Things have got out of control and reached an all-time low here.
“My granddad is quite fit and managed to get up.
“But others of his age could have just lied there and left for dead.
“He is a proud man and did not call the police or go to hospital.
“He’s more concerned about his bus pass. He’s quite independent and uses his pass to go to Maidstone. That’s his freedom they have taken away.”
He had got £250 cash out to buy a birthday present for his daughter, while the wallet was of sentimental value because it was a present from Kerrie and her brother Ethan, 10. It has the words ‘world’s greatest granddad’ on it.
Kerrie’s boss Kash Francis, 26, is supporting her colleague in catching the yobs. She said: “Gillingham is a massively hostile place – and the police don’t seem to be doing anything about it.
“The case was reported early on Monday and the family were told officers would not be interviewing Mr O’Connor until Wednesday.”
Kerrie, speaking after she posted about the attack on Facebook, has been told of numerous similar incidents.
She said: “It seems that it has just become the norm.”
Police spokesman Vicki Foster said: “No arrests have yet been made and officers are carrying out inquiries into the circumstances surrounding the incident.”
If anyone has any information, they can contact Mr O’Connor’s daughter Suzie on 07504 532756.