Ice Cream Man Slashed In Monsall

An ice-cream man has been savagely attacked with a machete - all for just £20.

It happened on Lodge Street in Monsall at about 8pm on 27 November 2011.

The ice-cream man, 54, was in his van selling to a young child who was at the window, when four men approached the van, one of whom had a machete.

This offender demanded cash but at first the seller thought it was a joke and refused. However, the thief began to poke the ice-cream man with the blade. A second member of the gang then tried to throw himself through the window and drag the seller out, prompting a struggle between the victim and this offender.

This melee resulted in the ice-cream man being struck twice on the back of the head with the machete blade, causing a large cut and resulting in blood loss.

While dazed, one of the offenders reached inside the van and grabbed two plastic cups containing £1 and 20p coins. However, the seller again tried to stop them and the gang dropped the cups, spilling the coins.

They managed to pick up only the 20p pieces and stole a maximum of £20 before fleeing.

Police are now appealing to anyone with information to come forward.

The offender carrying the machete was described as white, wearing a plain grey hooded top and material pulled up over the lower part of his face. He was between 16 and 18-years-old, with grey/blue eyes, of stock build and about 5ft 10in tall. The machete was described as 15 inches log.

The second was also in his late teens, white, about 5ft 10in tall and of a stocky build. He was white and wearing a plain grey-hooded top with cords. The other two were both wearing dark coloured hooded jackets with the hoods pulled up.

Detective Constable Amanda Hardey said: "For all the effort and violence these four teenagers displayed, they escaped with a measly amount of cash.

"However, the amount they stole does not diminish the seriousness of what they did. Luckily the ice-cream man did not suffer more severe injuries because anytime a weapon like a machete is waved around, it has the potential to maim or even kill.

"No-one, certainly not an ice-cream man, should be subjected to such violence when simply trying to earn a living.

"The fact that a young child had just been served shows how desperate, cowardly and without a conscience these teenagers were and it is more by chance than design no-one was injured with such a dangerous blade being waved about.

"I now want to focus the public's attention on helping us catch these four offenders. Did you witness what happened? Have you overheard something in your community that might be of interest to us?

"It is probable these teenagers are local, so if you know of someone who was showing off a lot of 20p pieces or you suspect might have been involved, please call us."

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 3543 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.