MP attacked after confronting youths

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The Independent Online

A 17-year-old has been arrested after an MP was punched in the head by a group of youths.

Tobias Ellwood, 42, the Conservative MP for Bournemouth East, tried to stop the gang throwing a ball around in Boscombe High Street, Dorset, on Saturday afternoon.

The gang are thought to have been angered when he took photographs of them on his mobile phone and called the police.

Eyewitnesses then saw the four take swings at his head. Mr Ellwood went to hospital with minor head injuries, a swollen ear, and with his hearing temporarily damaged.

He said: "I was involved in a serious attack involving four youths which resulted in me having to go to hospital. I'm reluctant to say too much because I want it to go to trial."

Mr Ellwood is a former Army officer with five years service with the Royal Green Jackets in Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Kuwait, Germany, Gibraltar and Bosnia.

He had been on his way to meet his wife Hannah and son Alex, after holding a constituency surgery. The gang ran off when several police officers and a police van arrived.

Market vendor Craig Wall, 29, with Brookside Country Meats, said he witnessed the incident while working in nearby Boscombe market.

"They were annoying, and were swearing," he said. "There were girls walking past and they were being very crude."

The MP has confronted antisocial behaviour before. Last year he tried to tackle 10 teenagers who were urinating in an elderly woman's garden in Bournemouth. The group of boys and girls verbally abused him before pelting him with stones.