Jake Aldridge, 13, from Sittingbourne in Kent was targeted in a sickening attack on Saturday resulting in him having reconstructive surgery. Jake, who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, was playing football with his friends when he was punched to the ground in an unprovoked attack by three other teenagers.
Jake’s mother Sarah said the attack had been a ‘massive setback’ and the boy was now too scared to walk to school by himself.
The 42-year-old said: “I don’t understand why someone would randomly punch a 13-year-old boy. They are thugs, pure and simple. It’s not only the physical injuries that have scarred him, but it the mental after effects as well. Jake is a bright lad but with his Asperger’s he’s struggled to be confident enough to go out in the past. The last couple of years he’s overcome that to be able to play with his friends unsupervised but now he’s too scared to come downstairs in the house alone to take his medication.”
He was discovered by his grandmother Penny Hallybone, 65, who lives near the park, with his face covered in blood. He was then taken to Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham by his father Lee.
Speaking about the attack Jake said: “Five of us go to the park every Saturday to play football and it’s normally very safe. We saw these three older guys coming towards a bench near us. We’d never seen them before and we got a bit of an off feeling so we went to leave. It was painful and I was really shocked. I felt my face with my hand and there was blood dripping everywhere. The hospital checked me over but I’ve lost a tooth and I need my braces fixed. The physical injuries will heal but it’s affected me really badly. Mum is taking me to and from school every day now. I’m scared to walk.”
Ms Aldridge, who is in the process of setting up a free school for autistic children, said she hoped police would catch the thugs before they struck again.
Get well soon Jake! We hope these scumbags are caught quickly!