Sunday, October 22, 2006

Tales of modern England

One from Burnham, near Slough.

A MAN has told how he had to have his face completely re-built after being set upon and repeatedly kicked by a gang of youths in Burnham High Street.

"As I walked along, I was aware that one of them had walked past me. Then I felt a blow on the face. I turned to walk towards my attacker. I got three paces and there was another blow to my face, from another youth. Then all hell broke loose.

"They knocked me to the ground. I kept trying to get up, but they kept on kicking me. At one point I was so dizzy I could not stand. My legs would just not hold me. I thought to myself 'I am in trouble here. I thought if they come at me again, I am dead meat."

Another from Whitton, near Richmond-upon-Thames.

Mark Dietrich, 39, was attacked in Chester Avenue at 5.20pm on October 3 after a confrontation with a man who had blocked the road while arguing with his girlfriend.

Mr Dietrich was punched to the ground and repeatedly kicked around the head and upper torso. He had every bone in his face broken, with his jaw smashed in three places.

I live close to Burnham and work near Whitton. Burnham used to be - as the man says - a beautiful village. Being close to Slough's huge trading estate it was an overwhelmingly working class and close knit community. I was born there and had a fantastically happy childhood growing up there. Now it's a place of fear and intimidation.

What is truly disturbing is that these are just two stories which are close to me. I've no doubt you could find similar stories from the length and breadth of England.

Are we happy with the nation this way? How can we be proud of this?

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