Black care worker set on fire by racist attackers

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The Independent Online

Three white men attacked a 24-year-old black care worker, set him ablaze and left him for dead, police said yesterday.

Three white men attacked a 24-year-old black care worker, set him ablaze and left him for dead, police said yesterday.

The incident, described by detectives as "sickening", is being regarded as racially motivated. The victim was subjected to racial abuse and then sprayed in the face with a chemical that was set alight. The attack came at 1am yesterday as the black man walked on Bristol Road South in Northfield, Birmingham. Detective Chief Inspector Neil James of West Midlands Police described the incident as "vicious andunprovoked".

He added: "There appears to be no motive for the attack apart from the fact it was racially motivated. It would appear he was walking home after visiting a friend when he was attacked by three men. One of them sprayed a substance in his face and set it alight.

"[The attack] was aggravated by the fact that the victim was abused verbally before being set alight. The victim suffered burns to his face and right arm. He is in hospital under sedation. Unfortunately, we have not been able to interview the victim due to the nature of his injuries."

Tests are being carried out to establish the liquid used in the assault. The victim, who is in Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham, remains in intensive care but is expected to survive.

Descriptions of the assailants are vague, but one is described as having a skinhead haircut.

Last night, police sealed off a stretch of the Bristol Road South as detectives searched for clues. A worker at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital close to the attack said he believed the victim had just dropped off his girlfriend at the hospital's nursing accommodation when he was attacked.

He said: "Everyone is stunned by the severity of the attack. It is an appalling thing to happen."

The victim has asked not to be identified.

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