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Blind man was pushed on to railway tracks

from the Guardian at http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/oct/24/blind-man-pushed-railway-tracks

Blind man was pushed on to railway tracks

Police release footage of terrifying ordeal for blind man and his brother as they were shoved on to train tracks in Essex
Still taken from CCTV footage of a registered blind man being pushed onto the tracks during a violent assault at a Chelmsford station.
Still taken from CCTV footage of a registered blind man being pushed onto the tracks during a violent assault at a Chelmsford station. Photograph: British Transport police/PA

CCTV footage of a registered blind man being pushed on to the tracks during a violent assault at a train station has been released by British Transport police.

The video shows the man being pushed off the platform at Chelmsford station in Essex and then punched as he tried to pull himself back up. Police said his brother was also thrown on to the track during the “appalling” incident in which the two men could have been killed.

Two Essex men have been jailed for 22 months and nine months respectively, police said. Daniel Webster, 23, of Coggeshall, pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm and actual bodily harm against both victims, while Niall Martin, 24, of Colchester, pleaded guilty to actual bodily harm against one of the men.

Chelmsford crown court was told that in the early hours of 20 February the 31-year-old registered blind man, from Ipswich, who is also profoundly deaf, was attacked on the platform while waiting for a train with his 28-year-old brother and a friend.

The court was shown CCTV footage of the brother coming to the aid of his sibling, only to be assaulted and thrown on to the track by Webster, then attacked as he tried to clamber to safety, according to police.

Webster then threw the partially sighted and deaf man on to the track, and punched him in the face as he tried to climb back on to the platform.

The court was shown further footage of Webster and Martin attacking the 28-year-old on the platform, police said.

Both victims were taken to hospital, where the 31-year-old old man had surgery on a fractured foot.

Detective Constable Alan Reed said: “This is one of the most appalling incidents I have investigated. Webster and Martin showed a savage disregard for their victims, and one of the brothers is still suffering from the injuries sustained to his foot.

“It is no exaggeration to say the brothers could have been killed after being thrown on to the tracks.

“I would like to pay tribute to the victims, who have shown great dignity following what was a terrifying ordeal for them.”

The two men were sentenced on Wednesday.

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