TWO vulnerable adults were left fearing for their safety after a callous thug threw a tin of paint over them and their carers, in what has been described as a “despicable” attack.
Charity workers at West Berkshire Mencap have spoken of their horror and disgust following the incident on Friday, October 27 which left the service users, who have learning difficulties, and three staff members, covered in white gloss paint.
Lucy Dodd, manager of assisted living complex Heffernan House in St John’s Road, said the service users and staff members had been left distressed by the terrifying ordeal.
No arrests have been made and police are appealing for witnesses to the attack, which happened at around 6.30pm in St John's Road.
Speaking to the Newbury Weekly News, Mrs Dodd said: “They were all scared.
“Two of my staff were just young girls, 19 and 20 – they were petrified.
“The users didn’t sleep at all that night.
“We haven’t tried to take them out again, so don’t know how they will react, but we’ve been reassuring them a lot.
“I’m just so angry that a member of the public can do this.”
She explained how the group had encountered a ‘gang’ of youths when returning from a shopping trip to the Co-op in Pound Street.
According to Mrs Dodd, words were exchanged with the youths as the female Mencap staff accompanied the service users back to their home at the assisted living complex.
Mrs Dodd told how the young gang then appeared to go their separate ways.
But as the Mencap party entered the car park of St John’s Church, one of the youths reportedly reappeared, running and shouting, before throwing a tin of gloss paint over the group.
Mrs Dodd, who has been involved with the charity for seven years, said that she was extremely proud of the carers – with one young staff member in particular shielding those in her care from the worst of the attack.
I’m so proud,” she said.
“Their first thought was for the people we support.
“One of the young girls took the brunt of the paint as she shielded the service users – for a young girl to do that shows extreme bravery.
“They even stayed on to finish their shift to make sure everything was as normal as possible for the people they care for.”
Thames Valley Police said they responded to reports of an incident outside Heffernan House in St John’s Road at 6.47pm on Friday, October 27.
A spokesman said no arrests had been made and investigations are ongoing.
Anyone with information about the incident should call Thames Valley Police on 101.
For more on this incident pick up a copy of the Newbury Weekly News.