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Street cleaner victim of unprovoked attack

10 April 2014

A street cleaner working for Luton council has spoken out after being punched twice in an unprovoked attack while he was cleaning a car park.

Paul Cox, 52, was struck with no warning by a man at approximately 4.15am on March 28 – an attack which left Mr Cox with marks on his cheek and above his ear.

He said: "A man came over to me and asked me what I was doing. I told him and then he said ‘what is your problem?’

"I told him I didn’t have a problem but then he smacked me across the ear and then in the face.”

At that point another man joined the attacker and Mr Cox backed off, running across to Park Street. The attack was caught on CCTV and police officers arrived at the scene in Vicarage Street, giving chase to the men. No arrests have been made.

Both men are believed to be in their late teens to early 20s, with one described to have been wearing a blue jacket with red arms. They were spotted running towards the University of Bedfordshire campus following the attack.

Mr Cox has cleaned the streets of Luton for 17 years and performed ‘door patrol’ – working in areas known for prevalence of drug dealers and prostitutes – but says he has never previously been attacked.

He admitted: "I’ve been around picking up syringes and condoms around places known for trouble but I've never had anything like this before. At first I was really shocked as it came out of the blue so I backed off and tried to make peace.”

The attack occurred on Mr Cox’s last night shift clearing the car park, as his working pattern has been changed.

"It is typical that it was the last time I worked there but I wouldn’t have been put off going back.”

Paul’s daughter Rachel added that the incident had caused anguish for his family.

She said: "He was just doing his job and he gets attacked. It was a totally unprovoked incident. It is outrageous that this has happened.”

A spokeswoman for Luton Borough Council said: "The safety and welfare of all our staff is paramount and we are appalled by this alleged unprovoked attack on one of our employees. This is now an ongoing police enquiry, therefore we are unable to comment further at this stage.”

Source: Luton Today