WITH VIDEO: A Brighton dad was headbutted and punched in the face this week when he told students leaving a 21st birthday party not to shout in the street.
Ben Hooley, who lives in Brading Road, confronted a group of young men who were shouting slogans in the middle of the street in the early hours of Wednesday morning. But the gang rounded on him, and he was left with a swollen nose and blood all over his face.
Partygoers had earlier thrown garden furniture and full beer cans at another neighbour, pensioner Yvonne Doyle, who with her family had complained about the noise, only to be told it was a student area and they should move if they wanted peace and quiet.
WARNING – VIDEO CONTAINS SWEARING
Ben’s wife Becky said: “Ben is the kind of guy who feels he should say something if people are behaving badly, so he went out when the lads were coming out of the house and down the street, shouting “We are England!” and other inflammatory stuff.
“Ben came out and asked them what they thought they were doing, and followed them a few doors down. They were shouting at him and swearing, telling him to go home and watch his catch up TV.
“Then they just turned on him. I ran outside, and they were around him and his face was covered in blood.
“One of them had headbutted him and punched him in the face, and a full can of beer was smashed into his face so it exploded too.
“I think some of the students from the house were involved in stopping it. Ben didn’t punch back at all.”
Yvonne’s daughter Toxi Doyle said they were notified of the party at 10pm that night, and she and her brother knocked on the door for half an hour asking for the music to be turned down.
She said: “They came to the door and told us they’re in higher education, it’s a student street and if we want to live somewhere quiet we should move.
“My mum got full beer cans and chairs thrown at her. She wasn’t hurt, but she was very shaken up. We called the police, who turned up and went into the house, but when they left, we could hear cackling and laughing and we could hear them saying the most disgusting things.
“Later, I was at the front door holding a candle asking them to be quiet, and I got three or four girls physically pushing me back into my house, saying I was a lower class to them, what will I ever amount to, calling me a fat s***, it was really quite shocking.
“This is the recurring line, that it’s a student area and we should move out. But we have been living here for ten years and it wasn’t a student area until the HMOs started popping up.”
Yesterday morning, the door was answered by three young women who appeared the worse for wear but unwilling to talk about what had happened, except to say the violence was nothing to do with them.
The house is owned by Tania Rayward, who with her husband Donald owns the house in nearby Bernard Road where students were moved in after a council enforcement notice requiring it to be turned back into a family home had been upheld on appeal.
Meanwhile, Yvonne and Toxi Doyle are now looking into sound proofing the house, which will cost a couple of thousand pounds.
And Becky agreed that the idea that bad behaviour is acceptable in “student areas” needs to be scotched. She said: “This is a family area, there’s elderly people living here too, it’s not like they should have the attitude that it’s a street version of halls of residence.
“We really love our students on either side of us. There are parties, but happy parties where people are nice if you say turn it down a bit. Ben always says just be glad it’s the noise of people having fun.
“But this – their parents would be horrified. We actually spoke to the mum of one of the students living in the house this morning, and she seemed mortified.”
A police spokeswoman said: “Police were called shortly after midnight on Wednesday, December 2 to report of an assault on Brading Road in Brighton.
“A 42-year-old man had been assaulted after becoming involved in an altercation with another group of men.
“The suspect is described as early 20s, around 5ft 11in, stocky with blonde hair with a quiff and a parker style jacket.
“Police are investigating and are appealing for any further witnesses to make contact on email@example.com quoting serial 8 of 2/12.
“We were also called to a report of a noisy party in the same road, just after midnight.
“When a neighbour asked them to be quiet she claimed they threw objects at her. When police attended the party had broken up and they had left the area.”
LIKE WHAT WE DO? HELP US TO DO MORE OF IT BY DONATING HERE.