Wisbech man who runs homeless charity 'anxious about leaving the house' after being attacked while out jogging

PUBLISHED: 16:12 10 December 2019 | UPDATED: 16:20 10 December 2019

Spencer Neilly (pictured) was out for a run in Meadowgate Lane, Wisbech when he was approached by two men who stole his head torch and assaulted him. Picture: Supplied/Jen Surguy

Spencer Neilly (pictured) was out for a run in Meadowgate Lane, Wisbech when he was approached by two men who stole his head torch and assaulted him. Picture: Supplied/Jen Surguy

Supplied/Jen Surguy

A Wisbech man who runs a homeless charity has been left anxious about leaving the house after an attack that left him hospitalised.

Spencer Neilly (pictured) was out for a run in Meadowgate Lane, Wisbech when he was approached by two men who stole his head torch and assaulted him. Picture: Supplied/Jen SurguySpencer Neilly (pictured) was out for a run in Meadowgate Lane, Wisbech when he was approached by two men who stole his head torch and assaulted him. Picture: Supplied/Jen Surguy

Spencer Neilly was attacked by two men at around 6pm yesterday (Monday December 9) when he was jogging in Meadowgate Lane.

The attackers, who stole Mr Neilly's head torch after realising he didn't have his phone or wallet, fled the scene on foot when police officers arrived.

Mr Neilly's step-daughter Jen Surguy said: "It was awful really. He came in the house shouting and when I looked he was covered in blood and had rips in his clothes.

"I'm first aid trained so I checked his tummy to see if he'd been stabbed (which luckily he hadn't) and then started to clean his face.

Spencer Neilly (pictured) was out for a run in Meadowgate Lane, Wisbech when he was approached by two men who stole his head torch and assaulted him. Picture: Supplied/Jen SurguySpencer Neilly (pictured) was out for a run in Meadowgate Lane, Wisbech when he was approached by two men who stole his head torch and assaulted him. Picture: Supplied/Jen Surguy

"He has two slashes either side of his face but luckily they're quite clean and, although long, weren't that deep so were steri-stripped at North Cambs hospital.

"The nurse confirmed it was probably a knife, especially because of how easily it went through his clothes.

"I think we're just so lucky that they didn't get his eyes. My mum was working so she left early and contacted the police who came to our house, took DNA swabs and his jacket for forensic testing."

She said local residents have been supportive since the attack: one offered their CCTV camera footage to help find the men while another lady sent Spencer a new head torch because that's what they stole.

She added that her stepdad launched the 50 Backpacks for the Homeless charity and said: "He started the scheme where he tried to get 50 backpacks of essential necessities for homeless people ahead of winter. That was a couple years ago.

"After that him and my mum started '50 backpacks for the homeless' as a not for profit and started a grub hub once a week to offer a hot meal and hair cut too. He's also done two runs to raise money for the charity including the King's Lynn GEAR."

She added: "Everyone has been really supportive offering well wishes because he's such a nice and caring man.

"I'm so grateful for everyone being so kind. He's really shaken up so it's nice to know the community are rooting for a speedy recovery."

"Nothing like this has happened to him before and he's quite tough so just goes to show it can happen to anyone.

"These men who did it didn't care. He's really shaken up and anxious about leaving the house but very grateful for all the support from the community."

Both men are described as white, aged in their early to mid-20s, of slim build and were wearing dark coloured tracksuits at the time of the assault.

An investigation has been launched and anyone with information should call police on 101 or visit www.cambs.police.uk/report, quoting crime reference number 35/87938/19."

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