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College tutor suffers brutal attack by racist gang in Whitstable

Whitstable Times by Matthew Collins | Thursday, 8 March 2012 | Click here for original article

A College tutor was punched to the ground and viciously attacked after his friend was racially abused during a night out in Whitstable on Friday.

Norman Maciver, 43, and Sidonio Givandas, 48, had just left the Old Neptune pub after watching a band there, when a group of teenagers approached them and began shouting racist comments.

The pair ignored them but they pushed Mr Givandas, originally from Mozambique, before setting upon his friend in Nelson Road.

Mr Givandas, an artist, managed to escape and get a passer-by to call the police, but Mr Maciver was savagely beaten in the unprovoked attack.

Mr Maciver, who moved to the town from Scotland in January, said: "They started shouting abuse at Sidonio and I heard him shout: 'Run!'.

"I started running up Nelson Road but they caught up with me and I was hit in the back of the head.

"I was knocked to the ground and it felt like about four people were knocking into me.

"It was hard to tell how long I was on the ground but it was a vicious attack – we're talking minutes.

"It didn't seem like they were going to stop. I curled up in the foetal position and tried to protect my head.

"The shock didn't really hit me until I was at hospital the next day having anaesthetic injected into my lips.

"Then I started shaking."

The father of three, who lives in Harwich Street, was left with two black eyes, a split lip that needed four stitches, suspected broken ribs and bruising all over his face and body.

Some of the bruises were in the shape of footprints.

He needed an x-ray of his skull and also suffered deep cuts on his fingers from trying to fend off his attackers.

Mr Givandas saw three teenage boys and a girl in Nelson Road when the racist abuse was being shouted.

He said: "One of the boys started following me and asking where I was going, then two of them came towards me and pushed me against the wall.

"I managed to get away and that's when I shouted to Norman to run.

"He fell on the pavement and I saw three boys go up to him. I was so scared to challenge them."

Mr Givandas, who had lost his mobile phone in the attack, ran to the High Street and asked a passer-by to call police.

A couple living in Nelson Road also dialled 999.

Mr Givandas returned to find the teenagers had run off and his friend was standing in the road bleeding.

The pair were on their way to Deco 5 in Oxford Street to watch another band when the attack happened just after 10pm.

Mr Maciver, a chemistry tutor for Kent College at Kent Science Park, near Sittingbourne, said: "I would never have dreamed I would see anything like this in a quiet town like Whitstable.

"I'm trying not to let it frighten me, but yesterday I was feeling like just moving back to Scotland.

"I know so many people here already and everyone I've told just can't believe it."

Mr Givandas, who lives in Wave Crest, added: "I've lived here five years and I've never come across something so ugly.

"I never expected to be involved in something like that. I thought Whitstable was the safest place on the planet – I am really shocked."

Police have carried out house-to-house inquiries and anyone who can help their investigation should call 101, giving crime reference ZY/6004.

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