A YOUNG father has been blinded following a savage daytime attack on a busy town centre street.
The innocent victim has lost all sight in his left eye after he was set upon by a gang of around six teenage muggers last Monday afternoon.
The mob punched and kicked the 29-year-old unconscious on the pathway that leads from the Olympia car park to the tunnels at the Murray roundabout.
They struck at around 4.30pm as the victim was making his way home to the nearby Lister Tower flat he shares with his girlfriend and children.
He was beaten so badly his eye partially came out of the socket and he temporarily lost his memory.
They stole his mobile phone, jacket and less than £20 in cash as he lay prone on the ground.
A passer-by, believed to be an older woman, who discovered the bloodied victim, phoned an ambulance and he was taken to Hairmyres Hospital before being transferred to a specialist eye unit at Gartnavel Hospital in Glasgow.
The victim, who wishes to remain anonymous, spoke to the News from his hospital bed where he is still receiving treatment.
He said: “These people need to be caught. I’ve lost the sight in one eye for absolutely nothing. I was walking home minding my own business when I was attacked. I think I was knocked out by the first or second hit but they’ve obviously continued to attack me. This could have been anyone. They demanded my phone, I said ‘no’ and that’s the last I remember before waking up in Hairmyres. This has left me devastated.”
The victim’s temporary memory loss meant he couldn’t tell hospital staff who his family were and his frantic girlfriend only found out what had happened two days later, on the Wednesday.
Expert surgeons have confirmed the dreaded news that he is unlikely to ever see out of his left eye and he still faces up to another fortnight in hospital for corrective surgery.
East Kilbride Police are this week hunting those responsible and are looking for the public’s help. DC Colin McLean told the News: “This was a particularly vicious unprovoked assault on a young man making his way home on Monday, November 3. The severity of the attack means the victim doesn’t remember much and we are hoping there may have been witnesses who can come forward.
“The tunnel and pathway where the assault happened are busy at that time of the day and I would urge anyone with any information to come forward as it is important these people are caught.”
The victim added: “I’d like the person who phoned the ambulance to get in touch with the News so I can personally thank them.
“This has left me and my family shattered. Once the injuries fade I’m still going to be paranoid about being out and about. This shouldn’t happen to somebody just walking home at that time of day. I just hope these people are caught before they attack someone else.”
The muggers are described as between 16 and 18 years of age, with one wearing a white baseball cap.
Anyone with information is urged to contact East Kilbride Police on 01355 56400 or, alternatively, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.