I was punched and bitten for refusing £5 refund

An elderly shopkeeper was left with horrific injuries after he got involved in a violent row over a £5 refund.

Friday, 17th June 2016, 12:40 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 6:48 pm
Joe Hynes at home recovering from his injuries

Joe Hynes, 67, was working part-time in his fiancee’s second-hand shop on King Street on Saturday when he became involved in an argument with a 21-year-old man after refusing a £5 refund.

The grandad-of-one says he was punched and bitten by the younger man, leaving him with serious bruises on his face and chest.

He said: “He knocked me to the floor. I don’t know if he hit me once or twice. I jumped up and put my hands out to push him away and he struck me again and I don’t remember anything after that.

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Shopkeeper Joe Hynes was assaulted

“I was in shock. I was shaking.”

Mr Hynes was taken to Blackpool A&E by his fiancee, Sarah Hamilton, where he was given antibiotics for the bite wound on his chest.

The couple later discovered police had classed the incident as a social disturbance, and that no arrests had been made. The 21-year-old claimed he had acted in self defence, though Mr Hynes disputes this.

Miss Hamilton said: “I was devastated and shook up. I didn’t know what to do.

Joe Hynes

“I’m disgusted with the police because they’re not doing anything about it. He has got away with it. It’s not fair.

“Joe is shaken and very weak. He doesn’t want to go out, he doesn’t want to do anything. .”

Mr Hynes said: “I feel terrible. I’ve got a face like a panda with two big black eyes. It’s a mess. I had a white T-shirt on and it wasn’t white by the time he’d finished with me.

“I’ll never take a shift in the shop again. I can’t even bring myself to go inside any more. I’m totally lost.

Joe Hynes

“I feel very let down by the police.

“It makes you wonder what they are there for. I just don’t know what to do.”

Police: ‘Not in public interest to arrest’

A police spokesman said: “We arrived at the scene at around 12.05pm on Saturday.

Shopkeeper Joe Hynes was assaulted

“The attending officer was given two differing accounts as to what had happened from both the 21-year-old complainant and the 67-year-old man involved, and there were no independent witnesses to corroborate either person’s version of events.

“Both parties admitted being involved in a verbal disagreement that escalated into a physical altercation, therefore the decision was taken to make no arrests as it was deemed not to be in the public interest.”

Joe Hynes
Joe Hynes