Homeless man punched in unprovoked assault on New Year's Eve in Leeds

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A thug threw a punch at a defenceless homeless man who was 'minding his own business' on New Year's Eve.

Joanne Hendricks, of Beeston, witnessed the unprovoked attack on the rough sleeper while she was waiting for a taxi after a night out in Leeds city centre.

The homeless man was sitting outside the Cosmopolitan Hotel on Swinegate

The homeless man was sitting outside the Cosmopolitan Hotel on Swinegate

She saw three revellers walk past the man, who was sitting in front of the Cosmopolitan Hotel on Swinegate, before one turned back and aimed a punch at his head.

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The homeless man managed to protect himself with his arms and was unhurt.

"I was waiting for a taxi outside The Bridge Inn when I saw these three young men, who looked to be in their 20s. As they walked past one of them lunged at the homeless man, who was sitting on a ledge in front of the hotel. They then just carried on walking.

"Me and my husband went over to him - he'd just been minding his own business. I asked him if he'd been punched and he said he'd managed to get his hands up in time as he knew what they were about to do. We gave him some money and stayed with him for about half an hour to make sure he was OK. He was Irish and told us his name was Oscar but that most people call him Paddy. He was a really nice guy and it's just so awful.

"He was very grateful to us - another couple stopped and gave him a pizza as well, which he wanted to share with us. He said he came over here to look for work but couldn't get a job as he doesn't have an address, and couldn't get a house because he doesn't have a job."

"I'm so annoyed about it - he wasn't causing any harm to anyone. It's New Year's Eve, which is usually such a happy night, and then they just took a swipe at him."

The assault has not been reported to police at the homeless man's request.