Man cautioned after attacking pensioner

WH 210514 Mrs Aucoin was attacked while walking through Worthing on Sunday morning
WH 210514 Mrs Aucoin was attacked while walking through Worthing on Sunday morning

An elderly woman who was punched in the face on a day trip says she is now ‘wary’ about going out alone.

Ninety-year-old Peggy Aucoin was on a weekend break in Worthing when she was attacked in the town centre on Sunday morning.

“I had just got into town and was walking through the town centre when a man punched me in the side of the face and knocked me to the ground,” said Mrs Aucoin.

“I was quite tearful, I was by myself and was going to walk by him and he just struck me in the side of my face near my ear.

“I’m going to go to Worthing again but I’m a bit wary about going out on my own at the moment. It certainly did ruin my weekend and I do like going there.”

Mrs Aucoin suffered bruising to her leg and went to hospital for a check up but received no significant injuries. Her 40-year-old attacker escaped with a police caution after he was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm.

Mrs Aucoin said she was helped to her feet by an elderly man and some young people.

An eye witness who helped to restrain the attacker until police arrived said at first members of the public thought Mrs Aucoin had been stabbed.

He said, “I went out and a lady was standing there all hysterical saying a guy had just stabbed an old lady.

“I looked down the street and saw the lady lying on the floor.

“The man ran past me just as somebody was shouting. I high-tailed after him and myself and others caught up with him at the end of Warwick Street.

“Apparently he came up to the lady and hit her neck with a clenched fist in a stabbing motion.”

Sgt Jo Webb said that while the incident was ‘horrendous’ for Mrs Aucoin, the attacker had been identified as a vulnerable person and a caution was deemed suitable as per national guidelines.