Children's eye doctor John Ainsworth describes how youths broke his nose in an attack on a Birmingham towpath in an attempt to steal his bike

The victim of an attack on a Birmingham canal path claims muggers are targeting cyclists after having his nose broken by youths trying to take his bike.

John Ainsworth, a doctor at a children’s hospital, says he had his nose broken after he refused to give up his bike on the Ackers Trust basin path on September 30, just days after a female cyclist required hospital treatment after being pushed into the same canal.

>>> Police hunt London teens who pushed cyclist into canal

Mr Ainsworth told the Birmingham Mail that the towpath was becoming a no-go area for cyclists, described how the youths carry out their attack.

“The lads who attacked me had a particular technique,” he said. “It involves two youths, one standing either side of the path where the canal is, to make you cycle between them. Then one guy runs from the side and pushes you hard into the canal. Another guy then tries to run off with the bike. Others hide close by.

“I managed to cycle on but there is a barrier along the canal, where I had to get off my bike. They caught up with me and started hitting me in the face, demanding money and the bike. I just held on to the bike and was punched maybe five or six times in the face. It broke my nose.”

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Detective Inspector Jon Ashman, of West Midlands Police, told the Mail: “These were really nasty attacks and we are following several lines of enquiry as part of the criminal investigation.

“We have been working closely with the victims since this was first reported to ensure they are kept updated as our case progresses. This kind of behaviour is dangerous and will not be tolerated; we are working around the clock to bring those responsible to justice.

“Local officers have also stepped up patrols in the area at the relevant times to ensure that cyclists can continue to use the towpath safely.

>>>Work starts on cycle-friendly Manchester canal path

“In the longer term we will be considering other powers, such as a dispersal order, to reduce offending and anti-social behaviour in the area.

“We would ask anyone with information about these offences to come forward and contact us. Similarly if you have been a victim, please call as soon as possible.”

  • Phil Zimmer

    Trev, big mistake to stick up for those migrants.

  • John Westwell

    It’s happened in London as well in the recent past. Only a couple of weeks ago, a youth was convicted of murder after a cyclist was stabbed in an attempt by a gang to steal his bike. And similar incidents occur in plenty of other towns and cities across the country.

  • David Simons

    Lovely place, Birmingham, and such nice young lads there…

  • TrevorHoldsworth

    I read this article and the one in the Birmingham mail and didn’t see one mention of the word ‘migrant’. Except, of course, for your comment.

  • Chipomarc

    Sounds like the beginning of issues with those migrants

  • Anthony Jackson

    sigh. Its sad a man cant commute to work along a peaceful canal. As if the police have any capacity to sort this out.

  • ummm…

    it is one thing to commit a crime because you see no other option to feed yourself (even tho this is the first world and here probably is), that is assuming that this is to feed oneself. It is another thing to push people into canals and rough them up. Are there no gentlemen thiefs? Or does that approach never work?