Disabled schoolboy has crutches kicked in 'appalling' hate crime in Liverpool

Elliott Heap, 15, was was travelling to his GCSE revision class at Liverpool Life Sciences UTC when he was approached by an unknown man. Credit: Merseyside Police

A teenager allegedly had his crutches kicked from under him before being insulted about his disability and threatened with death in an "appalling" hate crime.

Elliott Heap, 15, was was travelling to his GCSE revision class at Liverpool Life Sciences UTC when he was approached by an unknown man at around 10am on Wednesday, 20 April.

The teenager, from Ainsdale, has ME, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome - a condition which can affect his balance and leaves him feeling dizzy, meaning he needs crutches to get around.

Merseyside Police say the man kicked one of Elliott's crutches, directed insulting comments towards him about his disability, and threatened violence towards him.

Elliott was uninjured but left shaken by the incident.

Merseyside Police have released a CCTV image of a man they think can help with their enquiries. Credit: Merseyside Police

CCTV enquiries are ongoing and officers have now issued an image of a man they think could help with their inquiries.

Detective Inspector Steve O'Neill said: "It is utterly appalling that a someone could be subject to such vile abuse surrounding their disability.

"Merseyside is a friendly, welcoming place and I know the overwhelming majority of people will be shocked and disgusted by this incident.

"Rest assured, we will not tolerate such appalling hate crime and we are working to find the person responsible and bring him to justice.

"I am appealing to anyone who recognises the man in pictured to come forward as we believe he could hold vital information to help us with our ongoing enquiries."

The 'appalling' incident happened on Park Lane, near mini roundabout going towards Jamaica Street. Credit: Google Street View

Detective Inspector O'Neill is also appealing for other witnesses "We understand that a man intervened to help the victim during the incident, if this was you, then please get in touch.

“The area would have been busy with people travelling in and out of town so if you were walking past, or driving in the area and have dashcam footage from the Park Lane area, please review it and let us know if you see anything.

“You can contact us directly or anonymously via Crimestoppers - however you choose to let us know, we will take action.”

Can you help?

Anyone with information is asked to contact Merseyside Police social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook Merseyside Police Contact Centre with reference 22000272119.

If you wish to report a hate crime, but do not want to call the police in the first instance, across Merseyside, there are a number of third-party reporting centres available.

These include the charity Stop Hate UK ho can be contacted on 0800 138 1625.