An army veteran who was awarded a medal for his services in the Iraq war has explained how he feared for his life when he was mugged by a violent gang.
Staincliffe resident Andy West, who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, struggles to sleep and remains scared to leave the house after a gang set about him in the Long Causeway underpass, stealing his phone and the two bags of grocery shopping he was carrying at the time.
Andy was kicked, punched and stamped on during the assault, which left him concussed, bloodied and struggling to walk.
“It’s really hit me hard,” Andy said, “I can’t explain how shook up I am. I’ve been coping with my issues recently but the whole thing has totally knocked me back.”
Andy says one member of the gang pulled out a knife during the attack, which lasted several minutes.
“That’s when one of them said ‘don’t do it’. I thought I was going to die there and now I keep getting flashbacks and all I hear is those words - ‘don’t do it’. What would have happened to me if they hadn’t said that?
“I really thought I was going to die.”
Staggering to his feet after the gang had scarpered, Andy was found by a small group of residents who accompanied him until his girlfriend arrived from Birstall.
“I’d really like to thank those people who helped me. I wasn’t in a good way and they helped me when I really needed it.”
A police statement indicated that they were looking for only one suspect, later saying they could be on the hunt for three.
It said: “Police are appealing for information following a robbery in Dewsbury earlier this week.
“The incident happened on Monday 19 March between 18:30 and 18:45 on the Long Causeway in the town.
“Anyone with any information about the incident, or was in the vicinity at the time, is asked to contact the police with any information which may assist with the ongoing investigation.
“Members of the public are urged to contact the police via 101 quoting crime reference number 13180130652 or information can be passed to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.