‘He wouldn’t leave the house’ - teenager with learning difficulties assaulted outside Norwich shop

Lewis Empson, who was attacked outside Kwiksave. Photo: Hayley Empson

Lewis Empson, who was attacked outside Kwiksave. Photo: Hayley Empson - Credit: Archant

A teenage boy with learning difficulties felt too afraid to leave his house after being assaulted outside a Norwich shop, his mum said.

The Kwiksave on Larkman Lane. Photo: Google

The Kwiksave on Larkman Lane. Photo: Google - Credit: Archant

Hayley Empson said her son Lewis, 14, was standing outside the Kwiksave on Larkman Lane just after 7pm on Wednesday evening when he was approached by a group of people.

She said he was then slapped and punched by the group, who he didn't know.

Mrs Empson, who lives near the shop, said Lewis was uninjured, but shaken by the incident.

'He went into the shop and a group of boys were getting at him in there,' she said.

Larkman Lane. Photo: Paul Hewitt

Larkman Lane. Photo: Paul Hewitt - Credit: Archant

'When he came out he picked up his bike and his headphones got caught in the bike, and a girl came up to him and smacked him a few times, in the face, and then a boy smacked him in the back of the head.'

She said since sharing what had happened on social media, she'd been contacted by other parents who live locally.

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'Lots of other people have said their children have seen similar things in the area,' she said.

'If it stops it happening to someone else then that is the main thing really.'

Addressing those who hurt Lewis, she said: 'They should just think long and hard about what they have done and the effects of it.

'He feels unable to leave the house. He wouldn't leave the house after it, I just about got him to school.

'Seeing what they did and how much they upset him was just awful, I can't put it into words.

'I just don't want to see anyone else have to go through that - people need to think about what they are doing and what it might do to somebody.'

According to a national police crime map, there were 73 crimes reported around Larkman Lane up to September this year, with 27 of those recorded as shoplifting.

Police said anyone with information about the incident should contact Earlham Police Station on 101 quoting reference 394 of November 14.

• Have you been impacted by a crime in Norwich? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk