A teenage ‘goth’ who was beaten so badly in a street attack that he needed reconstructive surgery could have been the victim of a hate crime, his step-mother claims.
Ryan Winnals had been on his own when he was set upon by a gang of thugs on Saturday afternoon outside the Tesco store in Huthwaite.
The 18-year-old joinery student from Vision West Notts spent three days in hospital and had to undergo surgery at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham to repair his jaw that was shattered in the unprovoked attack. He also suffered a broken nose.
He had been planning to meet a girl he had been chatting with on social media when he was approached by the gang of youths at around 4pm.
But his guardian, Kelly Wilcockson, fears he was either set up, or it was a hate crime because he dresses all in black as a ‘goth’.
Kelly said: “It might be a coincidence but she did not turn up, or it could be because of the way he dresses - in black with the big boots.
“They didn’t say anything to him, he was just on his phone and one of them just walked up and threw a punch and knocked him down then they all started hitting him.
“This was broad daylight, someone must have seen something, there was between six and eight of them.
“He’s really been shaken up by this, it’s frightened him to death. He is not the sort of person who goes out and causes any trouble.
“When I first saw him the side of his face had ballooned, it was that swollen.
“I went out looking for them, I don’t want them to get away with this.”
Although police say it was serious incident, they would not confirm they are treating it as a hate crime at this moment. Anyone with details is being asked to contact police on 101, quoting incident number 613 from May 21.