Police scan CCTV for racist attackers

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The Independent Online

Detectives hunting racists who set a black man on fire after spraying a flammable chemical in his face were examining CCTV footage yesterday to try to identify the attackers.

Detectives hunting racists who set a black man on fire after spraying a flammable chemical in his face were examining CCTV footage yesterday to try to identify the attackers.

The 24-year-old victim, who has asked not to be identified, was released from hospital as police stepped up efforts to trace the three white men thought to have carried out the assault.

The men subjected their victim to racist abuse before setting him alight in the Northfield area of Birmingham during the early hours of Monday.

Paramedics took the black man to hospital with burns to his face and right arm. He remained under sedation until yesterday afternoon.

West Midlands Police said the victim was discharged from Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham, after doctors decided his injuries had not been as severe as originally feared.

A spokesman said detectives had also spoken briefly to the man and were hoping to speak to him at length in the next 24 hours.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil James, the officer leading the investigation, said the attack was "vicious and unprovoked". He confirmed that the race of the victim was thought to be the motive for the attack.

Security camera footage was being studied in the hope that it will show the three men, one of whom was described as a skinhead, fleeing the scene.

Police were also trying a trace a white car, possibly a Ford Escort XR3i, used by the gang to escape. It is thought the man was attacked shortly after dropping off his girlfriend at an accommodation block for nurses adjoining the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital.

The assault happened at about 1am on the bank holiday as the victim was walking on Bristol Road South.

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