Wednesday, 27 Oct 2021

Cruel yob attacked guide dog on busy street leaving blind man heartbroken

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Four-year-old Angus was left bruised and sore after he was attacked near Drakes Circus shopping centre in Plymouth. Devon and Cornwall Police say they are looking for a young person who is believed to be responsible.

The incident took place at around 2pm on September 20.

Nicholas Bateman, Angus’ owner, said his beloved guide dog was wearing his working harness at the time of the attack and has now “lost some of his confidence”.

Mr Bateman, who is blind and uses a wheelchair, said he heard his dog yelp and was told by a witness that a “youth” from a group had kicked Angus.

Another passer-by then chased a group of young people but was unable to catch them.

Mr Bateman said: “Although Angus has no lasting injuries, he does have some soreness and bruising.

“My main concern is that Angus has not been himself, he is somewhat subdued and has lost some of his confidence.

“Almost six years ago, I was struck down with an aggressive form of autoimmune disease resulting in my sight loss.

“When Angus came into my life, I was able to regain my independence and some quality of life. Angus is my lifeline…He is my world.”

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PC Andrew Rowe from Devon and Cornwall Police said: “I am very keen to identify and speak to both members of the public who assisted during this event.

“Also, in view of the fact that Plymouth city centre would have been reasonably busy at that time of the day, I would also like to hear from any other members of the public who may have witnessed this incident or have any information which may assist my investigation.”

Angus was trained by the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.

Simon Lynn, the charity’s head of canine-assisted services in the south west, said: “We were absolutely appalled to hear about this attack and we are supporting Mr Bateman and Angus in every way we can.

“A guide dog is a life-changing partner for someone with sight loss and we urge anyone who can help police with their inquiries to come forward.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, or email [email protected], quoting crime reference CR/083052/21.

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