A Sompting shopkeeper who was stabbed in a ‘violent assault’ said he has lost his faith in the police after no one was brought to justice for the crime.
Boran Gonul, owner of the Sompting Mini Market in Seadown Parade, gave chase when alcohol was stolen from his shop on Wednesday, November 28.
At the junction of Silverdale Road and Bowness Avenue, the 47-year-old was ‘surrounded by a group of youths’ and attacked.
However no charges have been brought in relation to the incident because police said it was ‘not possible’ to establish who caused the injury.
Mr Gonul said: “It made me feel awful.
“We can’t even trust the police if something happens like this.”
A ‘serious’ injury
A police statement at the time of the incident confirmed Mr Gonul had been hit around the head with a bottle, stabbed in the back and stabbed in the stomach.
Mr Gonul said he lost of a lot of blood and was rushed to hospital, where he was told he was lucky his kidney had not been damaged.
“It was serious,” he said, adding that he had been left with a scars on his stomach, back and on his face.
The pain left him unable to drive for a couple of weeks. “It was a nightmare,” he said.
Mr Gonul was visited by detectives after the incident, who he said took a statement, fingerprints, CCTV footage from inside his shop and footage from a neighbour’s camera.
“I had pictures and everything showing clear faces,” Mr Gonul said.
‘Extensive enquiries’ took place
A police spokesman said: “A 47-year-old man was injured when he was surrounded by a group of youths and attacked outside during the incident.
“Four people were subsequently identified and arrested, but following extensive enquiries it was not possible to establish who had caused the injury and no charges were brought in relation to this incident.”
Police confirmed they had considered ‘joint enterprise’ – a law which has been used to convict people, usually in gang-related cases, if defendants ‘could have foreseen’ violent acts by their associates – but said it could not be proven in this case.
The spokesman said: “The incident took place away from the shop after the initial shoplifting.
“There were a number of youths at the location, but most did nothing and it was not possible to ascertain who was involved and who wasn’t.
“The victim was not able to provide identification evidence, the CCTV did not help and there was no witness evidence that assisted the case.
“Therefore, we were unable to prove who within the group was involved in the assault and as a result joint enterprise cannot be proven.”
A 15-year-old boy from Southwick pleaded guilty to theft from a shop in relation to the incident, police said.
He was referred to the Youth Offender Panel for a six-month contract, made the subject of a restraining order and ordered to pay £20 compensation, police confirmed.
A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service confirmed that the only charge that was referred to the CPS related to the theft from the shop.
Mr Gonul said he no longer trusted the police following the outcome.
“If anything happened to me, I wouldn’t call the police,” he said.
“We’re paying our tax, we’re working hard trying to support our families. The police don’t support us.”
He said he feared there was no deterrent for those responsible.
“So many things have happened in Lancing lately, and there will be something else if nothing stops them,” he said.
But he said he refused to let the incident frighten him. “I’m not the kind of person that will let them stop me,” he said.