Tutor flees cycle path attacker

first_imgA college lecturer has become the third victim to be attacked on the cycle path between Ferry Road and Parks Road, provoking OUSU to pass a motion concerning the safety of the path.The lecturer was attacked and robbed on the same cycle path where Japanese postgrad Kentaro Ikeda suffered severe head injuries in a brutal attack this July.The victim, who wished to remain anonymous, spoke of how he “was pushed off my bicycle by a lone individual. I was told to hand over money, kicked, punched, and threatened in various ways.“As an erstwhile cross-country runner I decided – perhaps rashly – to make a run for the Marston end of the path, but was hampered by the effects of the fall from the bike. My attacker was also fairly swift of foot, pursued me, and after about fifty yards I realised that I was not managing to put enough distance between myself and him.“At that stage I decided to ditch the bag, and my pursuer then lost interest in maintaining the chase.” He continued, “I reported the incident to the police who are investigating.“I had always thought that the path would be safe as it is well-lit and heavily used. I now consider alternative routes after dark if the path looks deserted, and would advise others to do the same. I feel extremely lucky to have come away with just a few minor cuts and bruises.”The lecturer added that he had since recovered what he lost to the mugger. His bag, which had contained nothing but written work to mark, was later found near to where he had abandoned it by a member of the public and traced back to the lecturer’s college.The bike meanwhile was spotted on Cowley Road a week later, being sold in a second hand shop. The owner claimed that the bike had been found abandoned in Summertown and had been given to him by a friend.The police were aware of the incident, and have issued an appeal for witnesses, describing the perpetrator as a black male, of slim build, aged between 20-25, and wearing dark clothes. The mugging came in the same week as the two men accused of attacking Kentaro Ikeda in the same area have pleaded not guilty to charges of robbery and assault.A motion was passed in OUSU council on Friday mandating the Vice President for Charities and Community, Jack Wellby, to pressure the relevant authorities to improve lighting and CCTV coverage on the path.He said, “I feel as though the County Council have been far too slow to improve lighting on what is a dangerous path and that their ‘feasibility study’ is an unacceptable delaying tactic.“I think that improvements to the lighting are the absolute minimum and that CCTV should be installed strategically along the path or at the entrances. In future the county council needs to be quicker to react to such incidents and ideally be proactive in improving the safety of dangerous areas in Oxford.”OUSU are not the only group lobbying for improvements to the cycle path. A petition started in August by a resident of nearby Croft Road, gathered nearly 700 signatures, demanding more lighting to protect the many people who use the path as a route to the city centre.However, nothing has yet been done about the dangerous path. The North East Area Council have ‘approved in principle’ improved lighting but are waiting for the results of a cost feasibility study, and it is not clear how long this will take.The Oxford University Estates Directorate has so already ruled out installing CCTV in strategic points along the path on the grounds of cost.last_img read more

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