A group of boys accused of pelting a disabled woman with eggs and flour before taking a sick celebratory selfie “are now under their [police] protection” after receiving threats.
Five boys – two aged 17 and three aged 15 – have been arrested and bailed after an image of the group smiling and pointing at the vulnerable victim as she cowered on a park bench in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk caused widespread disgust.
The boys cannot be identified because of their ages but the names of the four suspects and the boy who took the photo have been widely shared online.
A sixth boy – a 16-year-old – was also questioned under caution. The boy remains under investigation.
One of the boys is due to celebrate his 16th birthday, and his mother has said the incident could now jeopardise her son’s party.
She told MailOnline: “We can’t say anything about what went on over the weekend but my son’s name has been leaked over the internet and we’ve had threats.
“I’ve reported the abuse to police and we are now under their protection. If anyone comes to our home to cause problems, we have a number we can call which will get the police here straight away.
“This isn’t what we need. It’s my son’s 16th birthday and we’ve got family here for his party.”
A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said: “The teenagers have been given personal safety and security advice.”
Police also reminded social media users that they do not support vigilantism in any way and that sharing names and images could “disrupt or jeopardise” a legal case if they form part of a criminal investigation.
The father of one of the other boys revealed he marched his son to the local police station to confess what he had done before grounding him indefinitely.
The 49-year-old victim who asked not to be named was left distressed after having flour and eggs poured over her by the group. Following the attack she said: “I’ve got to be careful”.
People living in the area claim the youths in the photo are part of a group who have been terrorising an estate in the town of Bury St Edmunds for weeks.
One witness said the victim had a “breakdown” at the park and shouted at the youths, and they retaliated by throwing eggs and flour at her.
Suffolk Police Inspector Anthony Bridgland said: “This type of behaviour is totally unacceptable and we are treating the matter seriously.
“We know this incident may have caused concern and anger both in the local community and online, but we would like to reassure everyone that we are tackling the matter robustly and supporting the victim.”
Article Source : https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/07/30/gang-threw-flour-disabled-woman-police-protection-according/