Cyclist is victim of horror attack by ‘vicious gang’ in Portsmouth

Anthony Stokes  was attacked by four men and two women in Waverley Road, Southsea, in the early hours of last Friday
Anthony Stokes was attacked by four men and two women in Waverley Road, Southsea, in the early hours of last Friday
Share this article
  • Group attacks cyclist over high-vis clothing
  • Victim suffers cuts and bruises in vicious assault
Have your say

CYCLIST Anthony Stokes has spoken of his horror at being attacked by a vicious gang.

The 43-year-old was riding home in Waverley Road, Southsea, when people shouted derogatory abuse at him for wearing high-vis clothing.

Mr Stokes, a customer services assistant, stopped to exchange words with what he thought was just a few people.

But a man pulled him from his bike by his rucksack and punched him in the face.

Six people then attacked him on the ground before a woman hit him with a full bottle of vodka in the face.

Mr Stokes told The News: ‘Six people were kicking me down the street.’

He added: ‘I just went into the foetal position, I was thinking “this is going to hurt”.

‘It felt like a lifetime but it was only 20 or 30 seconds.

‘What surprised me was just the viciousness.’

Mr Stokes, of Southsea, had been out with friends when he cycled home at around 1.10am on Friday, June 5.

The drunk group hurled abuse at him before the attack.

He added: ‘It was very derogatory.

‘There were six people and I didn’t realise.

‘I got a bit of lip and my biggest mistake was stopping and defending myself – it wasn’t a fair fight.’

Two men came to Mr Stokes’ rescue and the gang backed off – but one woman, the main antagonist – hit him with the bottle.

He said: ‘Luckily I had a helmet on and it caught me underneath it.’

He added: ‘It was quite vicious.

‘If those two guys hadn’t interjected I would have been a lot worse.

‘I just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.’

Mr Stokes suffered a cut eyebrow, broken nose, bruising to his left side and ribs, bruising to the inside of his legs and back.

He has been able to give police officers descriptions of three of his attackers:

- A white woman in her early 20s with permed black hair, wearing a leather jacket and white leggings with gold trim.

- Another white woman in her early to mid-20s. She was stocky with brown hair styled in a bob.

She had a red sunburnt complexion and was wearing a grey jacket.

- A white man in his mid-to-late 20s, who was 6ft tall with facial hair on his chin. He was wearing a blue baseball cap with red trim and a Nike logo. He was wearing a red rain coat.

Anyone with information should call PC Samantha Hockley on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Campaigner brands gang assault as ‘horrendous’

THE head of a city cycling group has branded the attack as ‘horrendous’.

Jon Spencer, chairman of Portsmouth Cycle Forum, said the attack showed

the result of a bad attitude towards cyclists.

He said: ‘We’re portrayed as doing something strange or different and it doesn’t fit, in some people’s eyes.

‘This sort of behaviour is what that kind of attitude leaves you with.’

He added the nature of the attack was rare in the city but was horrendous.

He added: ‘I hope it doesn’t put him off riding his bike because obviously there are health benefits to riding a bike.

‘He was wearing the right thing to be wearing at night.’