Leeds mum's cry for help after daughter with Down's Syndrome targeted by yobs in Swarcliffe

A Leeds mum has appealed for help after her daughter, who has Down's Syndrome, was terrified by a group of yobs in Swarcliffe.

By Abbey Maclure
Tuesday, 9th July 2019, 4:32 pm
A Leeds mum says her daughter Amy, 23, was targeted by a group of yobs in Swarcliffe.
A Leeds mum says her daughter Amy, 23, was targeted by a group of yobs in Swarcliffe.

Karen Horner, who lives in Swarcliffe, said the worst incident happened on Wednesday, June 26 at about 8.30pm as her daughter Amy was walking home from an activity group.

Karen said Amy was walking on Langbar Road, near the Co-op supermarket in Swarcliffe, when she was approached by a group of around twenty teenage boys on bikes.

Langbar Road, Swarcliffe. (Credit: Google)

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They started hurling abuse and swearing at Amy and making explicit remarks.

Karen, who is a single-mother to Amy, said: “She was so shaken up about everything that happened. The group are just horrible people.

“There is always one person in that group around the area, calling her names.

“She often walks around with her headphones in singing at the top of her voice, so they recognise her straight away.”

Karen said the boys blocked Amy’s path and made it difficult for her to walk past.

Thankfully, a driver nearby got out his car to confront the teenagers and Amy took the opportunity to run home.

Karen added: “She won’t go out on her own now when we worked so hard to build her independence and confidence. She doesn’t feel safe anymore.

“I know it’s not just Amy that’s being targeted. I just want people to come forward with information and make the group accountable for their actions.

“I have had enough, it’s time we did something about it. Amy should be able to feel safe to walk around without this happening.”

Karen has contacted the police and her local councillors about the incidents and started a new Facebook group, called Keep Swarcliffe Safe, to try to crack down on anti-social behaviour in the area.

In a statement, West Yorkshire Police said: "Police in Leeds have recorded a harassment related hate crime in relation to incidents outside shops in the Swarcliffe Avenue area between April and June 26 this year in which a 23-year-old woman was the subject of verbal abuse by a group of youths.

"All reports of hate crime and hate incidents are taken very seriously and we always encourage victims to come forwards. Officers have been speaking with the victim as enquiries progress."

Anyone with information connected to the offences should contact West Yorkshire Police via 101, referencing crime number 13190323849.