Polish man beaten by gang of 30 in Leeds on day PM speaks of hate crime ‘regret’

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A Polish man suffered head injuries during a street assault by a group of up to 30 men in what police say is a racist attack.

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Theresa May.  Photo: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Theresa May. Photo: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

It happened in Armley at around 9.35pm on Friday, the same day Prime Minister Theresa May told her Polish counterpart of her deep regret at a recent series of attacks on Polish citizens in the UK.

A member of the public called police stating that a large group of youths had surrounded a Polish man who was bleeding on the floor. Officers found the victim unconscious with injuries to his face and head. Enquiries established that two Polish men had been attacked initially on Town Street.

One of the men was chased to a nearby street where he was assaulted.

The man is currently being treated in hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

Armley is a tolerant and welcoming community where I lived with my own children for 15 years, without incident. News of this terrible incident has left me both devastated and confused.

Alison Lowe

West Yorkshire Police confirmed that the attack is being treated as a racist incident and investigations are ongoing.

Witnesses or anyone with information are being urged to contact police or Crimestoppers

Armley councillor Alison Lowe told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “Armley is a tolerant and welcoming community where I lived with my own children for 15 years, without incident.

“News of this terrible incident has left me both devastated and confused.

“This is not the Armley I know and love and I hope our communities will come together to show others that Armley is a safe place to live and work, despite the despicable actions of an ignorant few”.

The incident happened on the same day Prime Minister Theresa May expressed her “deep regret” over attacks on Polish citizens living in the UK in a phone call to her counterpart in Warsaw.

The Prime Minister told Beata Szydlo that “hate crime has no place in UK society”.

The discussions between the two leaders came after Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had held talks with Polish ministers.

Poles have been victims in a series of incidents since the UK voted to leave the European Union in June, including the killing of Arkadiusz Jozwik in Harlow, Essex, and the assault of two Polish men within hours of a vigil following his death.

The Polish Embassy in London said its consuls have intervened 15 times in recent weeks over reports of xenophobic incidents.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “The prime minister called Prime Minister Szydlo to express her deep regret at recent attacks on Polish citizens in the UK.

“Prime Minister Szydlo thanked her for the continuing support of the British authorities and expressed her gratitude that the home secretary and foreign secretary had received their Polish counterparts in London this week to discuss the incidents.

“The prime minister reiterated that hate crime has no place in UK society, highlighting the action that both the Government and the police are taking.”

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