1. ITV Report

Autistic teen left bruised and bloodied after alleged attack

James' sister posted the photos online Photo: Facebook: Steph Tomlin

A North Devon teenager is recovering at home after suffering an alleged vicious assault at the hands of a gang who mugged him for just the £5 in his wallet.

James Tomlin is autistic and says his condition has made him a target for bullies. His sister posted photos of his bloodied and bruised face on social media and has received goodwill messages from across the world.

James with older sister Steph Credit: ITV West Country

James bears the scars of what he says was an unprovoked attack in Barnstaple.

On Saturday evening James was walking to a friend's house close to the Gorwell district of Barnstaple.

The 18 year old says he noticed a group of people as he made his way towards Heppenstall Road, he says they closed in on him before the alleged attack took place at Longmeadow Drive.

I normally walk past loads of people like them but never thought anything of it to be honest but then obviously it did happen so it's shocking to find out that you're having to watch your back every time.

– James Tomlin

According to official statistics disabled people are significantly more likely to become a victim of crime:

age group at greatest risk of attack
of disabled people in that age group have reported a crime to police
of non-disabled people in that age group have reported a crime to police

James' sister Stephanie Tomlin was so outraged by what had happened to her brother that she posted the photos of his face on social media.

The response from across the world has been uplifting for the family who had been so hurt by what had happened.

Devon and Cornwall police say they're investigating and have made an appeal for anyone with information to contact them.