Priest ‘loses trust’ in police for ‘doing nothing’ after he was attacked in church hall

Father Colin Mason says he was assaulted on church grounds in August

Furvah Shah
Wednesday 27 October 2021 12:17
<p>A priest was assaulted on the church grounds of Sacred Heart Church in Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol </p>

A priest was assaulted on the church grounds of Sacred Heart Church in Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol

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A Bristol priest says he has lost faith in the police after their response to him being violently assaulted on church grounds.

Father Colin Mason - of Sacred Heart Church in Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol - was attacked on 20 August by four men who left him with a fractured eye socket and bloodied clothing.

He told the BBC that that while Avon and Somerset police were initially helpful, they “did nothing” to further investigate the assault.

The attack happened at 11pm, after a party in the church hall ran over its schedule end time of 10pm.

As loud music continued to play, Mr Mason went inside and asked for the party to end.

Then, he said: “Four blokes bundled me outside and one of them beat me up, so I was lying on the grass covered in blood.”

Mr Mason was satisfied with the initial police response of four officers who attempted to shut down the party and called an ambulance to take the priest to Southmead Hospital.

However, he said the police then did not follow up to get details of the person who booked the party and after more than a month of no contact, he contacted the police who said the case had been “filed”.

“To say they had closed the case was astonishing,” he said. “They closed it with no investigation whatsoever. It doesn’t give you confidence in the police if they are not prepared to investigate violent crime.”

Mr Mason has since complained to Avon and Somerset police and asked for a “proper investigation” into his assault.

A spokesperson for the police force said the complaint has been forwarded to the necessary area patrol inspector, and they can make no further comment until a review has been completed.

Mr Mason said: “There’s an issue of public confidence and it says to the man who led the attack that they can continue doing violent things with impunity.

“I feel a lack of trust in the police. My confidence has gone.”

Mr Mason has since told The Independent that the police notified him they have re-opened his case and begun an investigation. “Good news. I am happy with that,” he said in response.

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