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82-year-old punched during dispute with youths at north Norfolk monument

PUBLISHED: 11:39 27 March 2019 | UPDATED: 13:15 27 March 2019

The ruins of St Mary's Priory in Beeston Regis, near Sheringham, where an 82-year-old man was assaulted after a dispute with youths. Picture: EVELYN SIMAK

The ruins of St Mary's Priory in Beeston Regis, near Sheringham, where an 82-year-old man was assaulted after a dispute with youths. Picture: EVELYN SIMAK

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An 82-year-old man was assaulted in a dispute with a group of young people which saw him punched and "squared up to" at a north Norfolk anti-social behaviour hotspot.

An 82-year-old was involved in an argument with a group of youths at the at the Priory of St Mary in Beeston Regis. Photo: Karen BethellAn 82-year-old was involved in an argument with a group of youths at the at the Priory of St Mary in Beeston Regis. Photo: Karen Bethell

The man was in an argument with a group of youths at the Priory of St Mary in Beeston Regis, at 1pm on Saturday, March 9.

The assault reportedly saw the man punched twice in the shoulder and squared up to after trying to photograph the group.

Rod Cowen, who lives in Beeston Regis, said: “I called the police because the gentleman who was attacked was 82 years old.

“He saw some lads going up the monument. One of them had a bag over his shoulder.

An 82-year-old was involved in an argument with a group of youths at the at the Priory of St Mary in Beeston Regis. Photo: Karen BethellAn 82-year-old was involved in an argument with a group of youths at the at the Priory of St Mary in Beeston Regis. Photo: Karen Bethell

“There were 12 of them.

“He took his camera and went up there. He said he was taking photos of the monument - they wanted his camera off him.

“The female of the group went up and punched him twice in the shoulder and another lad squared up to him.

“He was obviously shaken up about it.”

The ruins of St Mary's Priory in Beeston Regis, near Sheringham, where an 82-year-old man was assaulted after a dispute with youths. Picture: EVELYN SIMAKThe ruins of St Mary's Priory in Beeston Regis, near Sheringham, where an 82-year-old man was assaulted after a dispute with youths. Picture: EVELYN SIMAK

Mr Cowen, 64, added: “The police are dealing with it and are aware it’s been a bit of a problem spot, especially during the summer months.

“Teenagers go up there and its a spot where its out of the way.

“They’re out of sight, shielded by high walls, and can have a bit of a gathering. It’s the first I’ve heard of it getting out of hand.

“We’ve been told to call 101 if we see anyone up there again. It’s just something to keep an eye on.

“The best way of dealing with it is to nip it in the bud.”

Mr Cowen added that St Mary’s Priory was listed as a monument by English Heritage last year.

He said: “It’s somewhere we don’t want spoiling. Sheringham isn’t a high crime area, it’s just one or two occasions.”

A police spokeswoman said: “A group of up to 12 youths were in the priory grounds when they became involved in a verbal altercation with a man in his 80s.

“One of the youths, a female, assaulted the man. The victim was not injured. Police are aware of recent reports of anti-social behaviour and criminal damage at the site - which is of historic importance and is a national monument. Officers are increasing patrols in the area to tackle the issue.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Sheringham Safer Neighbourhood Team on 101.

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