Pensioner attacked twice in the same month

EXCLUSIVE by LESLEY INNES GREAT granddad Rodney Bilson was attacked on an Ely housing estate and knocked unconscious as he walked home from the shops. Mr Bilson, 67, was left lying on the ground after the attack just yards from his home in High Barns. But

EXCLUSIVE by LESLEY INNES

GREAT granddad Rodney Bilson was attacked on an Ely housing estate and knocked unconscious as he walked home from the shops.

Mr Bilson, 67, was left lying on the ground after the attack just yards from his home in High Barns.

But the caring pensioner insisted ambulance paramedics drive him home to reassure his partially-sighted wife, Olive, 67, before taking him to hospital.


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It was the second time in just a matter of weeks that the former factory worker has been attacked on his regular shopping trip.

Now he is frightened to walk into Ely city centre for fear he will be targeted again.

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He said from his home in High Barns: "I went down like a boxer straight onto my back. There was blood all down the back of my head.

"Now I feel really jittery. I am worried that it is going to happen again."

Mr Bilson, who was carrying two bags full of shopping, was walking close to the play area in High Barns when a teenage boy knocked into his shoulder.

He challenged Mr Bilson saying: "What are you going to do about it?"

Then the pensioner felt a blow to the top of his head which caused him to fall to the ground unconscious.

Passers-by travelling in two cars rushed to Mr Bilson's rescue and called an ambulance.

But, although he was bleeding heavily from a head wound, Mr Bilson, who was bringing home fish and chips for tea, was more concerned about reassuring his wife than going to hospital.

She said: "I was expecting him home at a certain time and I was getting really worried. I feared the worst. Now I am really worried when he goes out in case it happens again."

He was taken to Cambridge's Addenbrooke's Hospital where his head injury was treated.

Two weeks before the attack on January 19, Mr Bilson was walking through the alleyway from Ely's Market Place to The Cloisters when he was pushed over by a boy who jumped out on him.

Now he fears the attacks may have been linked and has changed his route to the shops in case he is being watched.

He added: "This has shaken me up. Things are just getting worse in this country. There is no discipline in the schools and this is what is happening."

Ely police have appealed to witnesses and desperately want to trace the good Samaritans in the two cars that stopped to help Mr Bilson.

They have also released descriptions of the two youths believed to be responsible for the attack.

The youth on the bicycle is described as being 15 or 16-years- old, around five feet tall and of stocky build. The second offender, who hit Mr Bilson over the head, wore a white or light coloured top.

PC Dan Botterill, who is investigating, said: "We have carried out house-to-house inquiries and we have had community support officers in the area to reassure people. We have also had members of the neighbourhood beat team carrying out high visibility patrols in the area.

"In all the time I have been based in Ely I have not been aware of an incident like this and there is nothing to indicate that it could happen again.

"I would urge anyone with any information, no matter how small, to get in touch."

INFO: Anyone with any information should contact PC Botterill at Ely Police Station on 0845 456 4564 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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