Police in West Yorkshire are appealing for information after a 44-year-old father of two in his pyjamas was brutally attacked by up to 35 youths outside his home who were armed with baseball bats, hammers and golf clubs and threw rocks. Simon Clarke was hospitalised after coughing up blood but is now recovering with bruises and a torn ear.
Clarke says he was inside his Baildon home on New Year's Day when youths started throwing stones at his brother George's van. He switched on his CCTV which had been installed because of other trouble and saw around five youths so went outside to investigate.
"I went out in my pyjamas and bare feet to tell the lads to clear off," said Clarke. However then a large group of youths appeared from behind the van. One shouted: "I am going to kill you" and he was rushed. "The lad with the baseball bat hit me about three times on the back and when I was on the floor there was a constant rain of kicks and punches from the gang member - they were shouting 'die you b****d!"
Simon Clarke was only saved when brother George, 50, went to his aid and the gang ran off. Simon's wife and children were away at the time. He was taken to hospital where he was treated for his injuries, and his brother also sustained a head injury.
"If it had not been for my brother, I think things could have been a lot worse," said Simon. "I actually didn't want George to come out as I thought they would get him as well. They were just absolute maniacs. I am just glad that my wife was at the mother's and my sons were not in at the time."
A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "We were called to Cliffe Way in Baildon at about 7.25pm on New Year's Day, following a report of a disturbance involving weapons. As officers were travelling to the scene, a further report came in to say two men had been attacked and injured. Officers found the men aged 50 and 44 had suffered head injuries, which were not thought to be life threatening. The suspects had left the scene.
"Officers have spoken to the victims and are carrying out further enquiries to establish who was responsible for this attack and their motives. Police are not aware of either receiving any threats to their lives before this incident occurred and it is currently being treated as an assault."