Police probe launched after disabled couple attacked in Doncaster's Frenchgate centre

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A police probe has been launched after a disabled couple were attacked by a gang in Doncaster’s Frenchgate shopping centre.

The couple were verbally abused, punched and dragged to the floor in the incident inside the centre earlier this month.

The pair, who have asked not to be named, say they are now too scared to return to the shopping centre and have reported the incident to South Yorkshire Police.

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The couple say the incident started at the Yankee Candle store with verbal abuse and continued as they made their way through the centre.

The couple were attacked in Doncaster's Frenchgate Centre.The couple were attacked in Doncaster's Frenchgate Centre.
The couple were attacked in Doncaster's Frenchgate Centre.

The couple, who have hidden disabilities and autism, said: “After leaving the shop, me and my partner found security and told them.

"A few minutes later, the same group again verbally abused and threatened us while walking past the shop.

“Me and my partner have hidden disabilities. I could not handle this, due my autism.

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"I went and told these people to stop and they threatened me more and they got in my face.

"I was scared and didn't know if they had weapons.

"I feared for my life, so I pushed one of them back, they tripped over and I left.

"As I was leaving, this person jumped to their feet and threw a bottle at my head

“I was assaulted, I was punched in the face and more security turned up. After being dragged to the floor, I phoned 999.

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“The police turned up and tried to handle the situation but while we were giving statements, these people were verbally abusing and again threatening us, in front of security and police.

He added: “I'm shocked, everyone I've told is shocked.

"This is not the first time disabled individuals have been attacked in Doncaster, when will it end?”

“We will not be attending Doncaster Frenchgate for a long time, if ever again, to shop, we will be warning others to avoid as well.

"We don't blame the security for what happened that day, they did help save our lives, but it was too much for them and got out of control. It was very scary.”

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A spokesman for Frenchgate said they were aware of the matter but said the investigation was being led by South Yorkshire Police and would not be commenting.

A South Yorkshire Police said: “We were called at about 3.30pm on Thursday 11 May by a member of the public reporting an assault having taken place at the Frenchgate Shopping Centre in Doncaster.

“The caller, a man, claimed that he and a woman had been confronted by a group of teenagers and had been assaulted.

“The shopping centre’s security team intervened before officers arrived and the group had already left the centre. Both victims suffered cuts and bruises during the incident.

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“Enquiries are ongoing at this time to determine what happened.

“Anyone with information which may aid the investigation can pass it on using our online live chat, our online portal or by calling 101. Please quote investigation number 14/88885/23 when you get in touch.”