Mother’s plea after son is attacked in Skegness

Liam Coughlin (back row right) pictured next to his mum and dad, Beverley and Malcolm, and other members of the family and friends. ANL-160126-092033001
Liam Coughlin (back row right) pictured next to his mum and dad, Beverley and Malcolm, and other members of the family and friends. ANL-160126-092033001
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The mother of a 26-year-old Skegness man with learning difficulties has spoken of the horrifying incident in which her son was verbally abused, chased and punched by youths.

Liam Coughlin was walking towards the Clock Tower in Lumley Road at about 6pm on Sunday, January 17, when the attack happened.

Police have been treating the incident as a hate crime and investigations are ongoing.

Beverely Coughlin, Liam’s mother, is urging anyone who witnessed the incident to contact the police.

She said: “Our family cannot believe these youths could be so cruel. I also have a daughter who is disabled and we moved to Skegness from Rotherham to have a better life.

“We didn’t expect to come here and Liam, who has difficulty speaking, get picked on.”

Mrs Coughlin, who works with vulnerable adults, says Liam is still reliving the nightmare.

She said: “He has autism and is on medication for depression and keeps going over what happened.

“He always loved to go out walking around town, but now we are trying to discourage him.

“However it’s hard because he can’t read or settle to watch television. At the end of the day he should be able to go out without something like this happening.”

Police are appealing for witnesses and Mrs Coughlin is urging residents to think back to that day if they were in the area. She said: “I finish work around 6pm and there are always people about. Someone must have seen it.

“I also want the youths to think about what they did. They could have a disabled child one day and it could happen to them. But it could have been worse – Liam could have ended up in hospital.”

Any witnesses are asked to call police on 101, quoting incident 310 of January 17.

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Police appeal for information following hate crime