A FRIGHTENING attack left the founder of a group cleaning up needles discarded by drug addicts unconscious in a Leamington alleyway.
In just over a month Leam Trash Friends have cleared more than 1,500 used needles from Old Town while out collecting other litter.
But its founder – who has remained anonymous since the group was formed for fear of repercussions – was left unconscious in Satchwell Place on Wednesday evening (February 20) after being jumped while cleaning up at around 8.30pm.
He does not know whether it was one attacker or several who grabbed him from behind and choked him until he passed out for an unknown amount of time, coming around by himself in the empty alleyway.
Whoever carried out the attack also made off with a silver necklace, which belonged to his mother who died on his birthday earlier this year.
He told the Observer: “I am still sore, have some cuts and am extremely shaken. It’s difficult for me to do much at this time while I adjust to accept what happened.
“The chain is irreplaceable, the one thing I had from my mother.”
In reaction to the assault the rest of the volunteers have said they will now only clean-up areas while working in groups.
A spokesman said: “It is despicable one of our colleagues was attacked when they were simply helping to keep our district a safe place to live.
“We will continue our work but they will be restricted to protect our colleagues as much as possible. They must only be conducted in pairs or groups which significantly hinders our ability to respond and react to needle reports and regular hotspot checks.
“Furthermore unless we raise adequate funding for our insurance costs, we may have to take the drastic decision to postpone our works altogether.”
A spokesman from Warwickshire Police said: “It’s reported a man in his twenties was assaulted in an alleyway.
“If anyone witnessed the incident, please call Warwickshire Police on 101”
Visit www.gofundme.com/street-clearance to donate to Leam Trash Friends.