Comet reporter escapes Stevenage attack

Martin Dunne

Martin Dunne - Credit: Archant

Police have launched an appeal for witnesses after a man was attacked as he made his way home from a night out.

Comet reporter Martin Dunne was approached by three hooded men in Ditchmore Lane, Stevenage, near to the footbridge which connects the old and new town, at approximately 2.15am on Sunday.

“It wasn’t until I was close to the footbridge that I saw one man stood nearby with his hood pulled up,” said the 19-year-old.

“I carried on walking when he shouted, asking if I had any money. I looked over my shoulder and saw him and two other hooded men following me. One of them, his face covered by a balaclava, ran around to block my path.

“I heard him shout ‘search his pockets’ before punching me in the face. The hit stunned me but I didn’t go down. I knew the other two were close behind and the one in front took a step forward. Without thinking I swung my fist as hard as I could into his face, knocking him onto the metal railings, and ran to the other end of the bridge.


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“I walked the rest of the way home thinking of how stupid it was to put myself in such a position in the first place, how confident they were in thinking they would get away with their crimes and how many others they might have tried robbing that night.

“I am a black belt in taekwondo and, although I believe my training is what gave me the confidence to retaliate, it is sheer luck that I was not seriously injured or robbed.

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“There is no CCTV surveillance in the area where the assault occurred and, as the men covered their faces, the police do not have much to go on. I have been told about a similar incident, again involving three men, occurring the same night in Stevenage which has gone unreported to the police.

“All I know is the best form of self-defence is to not put yourself in such a position in the first place.”

Police have released a description of the man who carried out the assault. The offender is described as a slim man, aged between 15 and 21 years old and around 5ft 11ins tall. He was wearing a balaclava. Anyone with information relating to the incident are asked to call the police on the non-emergency number 101.

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