A TEENAGE boy was knocked unconscious with a house brick, stabbed with a screwdriver and left for dead in a vicious race attack.Joseph Haigh, 14, was savagely beaten by the gang of up to 15 Asian youths in Thornhill on Friday night.
The gang hurled racist abuse at him, constantly referring to the colour of his skin, yet police refused to classify the attack as racially-motivated.Josephs dad Jonathan, 42, of Thornhill, said: It was a racist attack.They were calling him white trash and white this, that and the other. This is why people are angry about what is happening in this country. If it had been an attack by whites on an Asian lad it would have been a definite race attack. When its the other way round they dont want to know. Joseph was out with his friends at around 9pm on Friday near Thornhills Rectory Park when the gang of Asians, said to be aged 18-20, came at them. Josephs friends scattered and Joseph tried to make off on his bike, only to be confronted by one of the thugs who smashed him in the head with half a brick.
Mr Haigh, a lorry driver, told how that blow knocked his son unconscious and he instinctively put his hands over his face to protect himself. Another youth lunged at him with a screwdriver while others kicked and punched him about the head.Mr Haigh said: They went to stab him in the face and it was only because he had his hands up that they missed. He was stabbed in one hand, his other hand was broken and a cut on his forehead was down to the bone. If they had hit him a bit harder with the house brick they could have killed him. They just left him for dead. Josephs teeth were also badly damaged and he may lose a tooth. His teeth were wired and he needed specialist treatment at the trauma unit at Leeds General Infirmary.
One of Josephs friends raised the alarm and when Mr Haigh arrived his son was laid out in a bus shelter covered in blood. Josephs bike was also missing and was believed to have been stolen by the gang.Joseph was off school all week and tensions were said to be running high at Thornhill Community Science College. Its shocking whats happened, said Mr Haigh. I have lived in Thornhill all my life and there were fights between whites and Asians 20 years ago. But this wasnt braying someone and giving them a black eye, it was a vicious attack. You dont go out with a house brick and a screwdriver if youre not going to seriously hurt someone. Mr Haigh, who has a wife Stacey, 40, and another son James, 19, said he wanted out of Dewsbury. It used to be a good, thriving town but Dewsbury has got nothing to offer us anymore. A police spokesman said the initial police report had not classified the attack as racially-motivated but inquiries were continuing.
Insp Jenny Thompson, of Dewsbury police, said: This was a vicious, unprovoked attack on a young boy which left him with some serious injuries. This kind of behaviour will not be tolerated within Dewsbury and we will be focusing extra patrols around the area as part of on-going work.
The CID department are currently following some positive lines of inquiry. However I would still appeal for any witnesses or anyone with information to contact Dewsbury CID on 01924 431085 or Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555 111.