OAP critically ill after gang attack

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The Independent Online

A pensioner is fighting for life in hospital after being brutally attacked by a gang of teenagers, police said today.

The 67-year-old man suffered a serious head injury and fell to the ground during the assault in Tooting, south-west London.

Detectives believe the attackers had assaulted another two men, one in his 70s and the other in his 40s, just minutes earlier.

The pensioner, a retired care worker, had just visited a mosque when the youths set upon him at about 9.50pm on Monday night.

After the attack he was taken to a south London hospital, where he remains in a critical condition.

A five-year-old girl who was with him at the time was unhurt.

Police said the youths who carried out the attack were black, in their mid-teens and wearing hooded tops.

Is is believed they were part of a larger group, including girls and other young people on bicycles.

Detective Chief Inspector John McFarlane, from Scotland Yard's homicide and serious crime command, said it was a "sickening attack on an innocent man".

"We urge people who may have been attacked, or who may know who these youths are, to come forward and speak to officers," he said.

Four teenage boys, aged between 12 and 15, have been arrested in connection with the incident and remain in custody at a south London police station.