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Bury St Edmunds man who was assaulted near Asda petrol station speaks of anger at Suffolk Police after having his case dropped



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A 27-year-old man who was assaulted and dragged along the floor by a group of men in Bury St Edmunds has expressed his anger at Suffolk Police after having his case dropped due to lack of evidence.

Toby Balaam was with his fiancée by the clothes bank in the Asda car park on July 20 at around 8.40pm when a group of men in a car drove past and verbally abused them.

Toby said he did not pay much attention as he believed the shouts were coming from friends joking around, but then the vehicle stopped and the group of males got out.

Toby Balaam immediately after the assault in July. Picture: Toby Balaam.
Toby Balaam immediately after the assault in July. Picture: Toby Balaam.

They then walked over to him and his fiancée and proceeded to threaten to stab him and then assaulted him. During the incident, Toby was dragged along the floor and his fiancée was left shaken up.

“Yes, it’s messed me up a bit,” Toby said. “But the phone call from the police, even though there was four people in the car and they have the registration for the car, they go ‘there is insufficient evidence and we are not going to court’.

“It doesn’t seem like they are actually doing anything about it and they are going to let these people go scot-free.

Asda clothes bank, in Western Way, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Google.
Asda clothes bank, in Western Way, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Google.

“What’s to say they won’t do this again to somebody and kill them.”

A Suffolk Police spokesman said they had made ‘proportionate inquiries’ into the incident and obtained a copy of CCTV footage from the area, but that on viewing it it was established the incident could not be seen due to an insufficient quality of recording, and the suspected vehicle could not be identified.

They added the victim had been told of the update and accepted the lack of evidence.

They said all lines of inquiry had been exhausted and the incident finalised pending any new information coming to light.

Despite this, Toby said there were lots of eye witnesses to the incident and could not fathom how the case had been dropped.

“I know there were a lot of people who stopped,” he said. “There was a youth worker who stopped and people who gave witness statements, so the people of the area have tried to step up and help.

“But our wonderful law enforcement cannot do anything with it.”

“My fiancée was there and they tried to get her as well and the police never even tried to take her witness statement.”

Toby said he would rather the attack had happened to him rather than someone younger or smaller, who might have suffered more, but even so said the incident had left physical and mental marks.

“I’ve got scars on my legs where they dragged me across the ground,” he said.

“I have a lump in my lip now where they punched my lip and it’s also the mental health.

“For someone my size I feel terrified to go to Asda. I do not feel safe being in Bury any more.”

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