Young violinist attacked by group of teenagers in Lancing Co-op – police release CCTV image of suspect
A young violinist was left ‘terrified’ after he was attacked by a group of teenagers in the Co-op.
Matthew English was riding his bike near Lancing railway station at 7pm on Saturday when the group started shouting at him and chasing him.
The 15-year-old went into Co-op, in North Road, for safety but two youngsters, aged about 15 or 16, followed him into the shop and one punched him in the face.
“There were about ten to 15 of them – my nose is broken and I’ve got a split lip,” said Matthew, who has a hearing impairment.
“I was in complete shock, there was a lot of blood and I couldn’t stop shaking.
“I love Lancing but I am terrified to go back out.”
Matthew is well-known in the community for his violin playing. Over the years, he has busked in Lancing and Shoreham, raising money for various causes.
In the wake of the attack, a JustGiving page has been set up to raise money for a new violin for the teenager. In just one hour, £1,000 was raised.
“I was completely speechless and blown away,” said Matthew.
“It is really reassuring and shows there are good people out there.”
He thanked the Lancing community for all their kindness and support.
Matthew and his mum, Janice, have been living in Kent for the past two years caring for relatives, but return to their family home in Lancing once or twice a week.
The pair are also currently grieving the loss of Janice’s mother, Eileen, and Matthew, who is registered as a young carer, had been busking to fund a memorial bench for his grandmother.
“He can’t go out and do this now as his confidence has been rocked,” said Janice.
“The weekend before this happened, he played at the market and left Lancing on such a high. What a difference a week makes.”
Matthew said he did not know or recognise anyone from the group, but gave a description of the suspect who punched him.
Police have since released a CCTV image of this suspect. He is described as being a white male, aged about 16. He had blonde slicked back hair and wore a navy blue jumper with a white Nike logo across the chest, with grey tracksuit bottoms and white trainers.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Sussex Police online or call 101 quoting serial 1171 of 10/07.
The fundraising page, set up by councillor Andy McGregor, had raised £3,315 at the time of going to press. Mr McGregor said: “The people of Lancing are disgusted and horrified by this unprovoked attack and want to do something to support Matthew. And what better way to support this talented and gentle young man than to buy him his first adult size violin?”
To support Matthew’s bench fundraiser visit https://gofund.me/0a935e7f.