Guide dog attacked while helping owner lost confidence since being kicked

Guide dog Angus and his owner Nicholas Bateman.
Nicholas Bateman says Labrador Angus is his world (Picture: PA)
A guide guide has been left ‘bruised and subdued’ after being attacked by a youth in Plymouth. Black Labrador Angus was kicked during a targeted attack while helping his disabled owner around the city centre. Nicholas Bateman, 54, who is registered blind and uses a wheelchair, was told by a witness that a young person had deliberately attacked his four-year-old dog on the afternoon of September 20. Nicholas says Angus is ‘his world’ but has not been the same since the incident, which occurred despite Angus wearing a reflective working harness.

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Another passer-by unsuccessfully chased a group of youths who fled from outside Drake Circus shopping centre at around 2pm in the direction of St Andrew’s Cross roundabout. The two members of the public who helped Nicholas and any other witnesses are now being asked to come forward by Devon and Cornwall Police. Nicholas, from Derriford, has relied on Angus for the past two years after he lost his sight to an autoimmune disease.
Guide dog Angus.
Angus was left ‘bruised and subdued’ (Picture: PA)
Nicholas Bateman with his guide dog Angus.
Angus helps Nicholas who lost his two years ago (Picture: PA)
He explained: ‘My main concern is that Angus has not been himself, he is somewhat subdued and has lost some of his confidence.

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‘Quite simply, he is my world.’

Nicholas added: ‘Almost six years ago, I was struck down with an aggressive form of autoimmune disease, resulting in my sight loss.

‘When Angus came into my life, I was able to regain my independence and some quality of life. Angus is my lifeline.’

The charity Guide Dogs’ head of canine-assisted services in the South West, Simon Lynn, said: ‘We were absolutely appalled to hear about this attack and we are supporting Mr Bateman and Angus in every way we can.

‘A guide dog is a life-changing partner for someone with sight loss and we urge anyone who can help police with their inquiries to come forward.’

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Pc Andrew Rowe said: ‘I am very keen to identify and speak to both members of the public who assisted during this event.

‘Also, in view of the fact that Plymouth city centre would have been reasonably busy at that time of the day, I would also like to hear from any other members of the public who may have witnessed this incident, or have any information which may assist my investigation.’

Anyone with any information can contact police on 101, quoting crime reference CR/083052/21, or email or email [email protected] .

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You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at[email protected] .

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