A 15 year old Army Cadet who had been out selling Remembrance Sunday poppies was burned in a makeshift blow torch attack in Manchester last night. His attacker, described as black or Asian and about 5ft 8 inches tall and wearing a dark hoodie, is thought to have been drunk as he was staggering as he left the scene. Police have said that it was “pure luck” that the boy, who suffered minor burns, was not more severely injured.
The attack took place last night at a bus stop by the Manchester Gallery in Manchester’s city centre. The teenager, who has not been named, was wearing his camouflaged uniform as he had been selling the poppies all day in the town centre to raise money for charity. He was approached by a man carrying an aerosol can and a lighter, who then sprayed lit fumes at the teenager, causing minor burns to his face and singeing hair on his face and right forearm. The attacker then walked off without saying a word, the Independent has reported.
Detective Inspector Liam Boden said: “This is an absolutely appalling attack on a young man who was raising money to help remember all those who gave their lives fighting bravely for their country.
“At this stage of our inquiries, we’re keeping an open mind as to what motivated the offender to commit such an act.
“Given the initial description we have of the offender, it may be that he was under the influence of something, but whatever his motivation, his violent actions could have scarred this young man for life. Although he has suffered some minor injuries, it is pure luck that he did not sustain more serious burns to his face and body.”
The young man and his family are said to be in a state of “total shock” following the attack. Police have appealed to anyone with information about the incident to come forward.