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Homeless man is victim of unprovoked attack in Highbury Corner

Passers-by come to his aid after assault on busy street

19 January, 2018 — By Samantha Booth

Paul Palmer: ‘I’ve had no experiences like that before’

A HOMELESS man was left bleeding from the lip after being punched in the face in Highbury.

Kind passers-by stop­ped to help 36-year-old Paul Palmer after the shocking attack in Highbury Place at about 7pm last Wednesday.

Mr Palmer said he was sitting by Barclays Bank when a man stood near him, staring at him.

“He came over towards me and I took my eyes off him for a second and he punched me in the face,” said Mr Palmer, who has been “on-and-off” homeless for the past five years.

The attacker then apparently hid by the bank, at Highbury Corner, before pushing a woman out of the way and again hitting Mr Palmer, in the face and on the back of the head.

He said: “I was saying to him: ‘Why are you attacking me, someone who is homeless, like that for?’

“I have no idea who he is.”

One witness, who asked not to be named, said it was “breathtaking” to see such a heartless attack during a busy time of the day.

“The guy having attacked him then walked off,” the passer-by said. “I got straight on the phone to police and tried to follow him.

“There was no provocation. Paul was bleeding from his mouth and was shaken.”

The witness was not able to follow the suspect but was one of several people who stayed with Mr Palmer until emergency services arrived.

Paramedics treated him at the scene. “About four people stayed with me,” said Mr Palmer, whose wounds have since healed. “It goes to show there are some decent people out there still.

“I’ve lived in Islington my whole life. I’ve had no experiences like that before. I’m fine, I’m still sat there.”

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said no arrests had been made but inquiries are continuing.

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