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Man released from custody after homeless person living in a tent attacked in park

PUBLISHED: 12:54 19 August 2019 | UPDATED: 12:54 19 August 2019

Police investigation under way in Diss Park. Picture: Simon Parkin

Police investigation under way in Diss Park. Picture: Simon Parkin

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A man has been released from police custody after an attack left a homeless man with serious head and facial injuries.

Police investigation under way in Diss Park. Picture: Simon ParkinPolice investigation under way in Diss Park. Picture: Simon Parkin

Police cordoned off the park on Park Road, Diss, shortly after 9.40pm on Saturday, August 17 following reports a man had been attacked by another man with a metal tool.

A man was arrested at 10.10pm on suspicion of assault occasioning grievous bodily harm. That man has since been released on bail until September 11 while an investigation takes place.

The suspect had been taken to Wymondham Police Investigation Centre where he was questioned.

The victim, a 32-year-old man, was taken to Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) for treatment. He had been living in the tent for the past six weeks on the grassed area of Victoria Road, Diss, near retirement bungalows.

Police investigation under way in Diss Park. Picture: Simon ParkinPolice investigation under way in Diss Park. Picture: Simon Parkin

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Saffron Housing Trust, which runs the complex whose residents are aged into their 90s, had launched court action to move him on.

The park remained cordoned off as the investigation continued throughout the weekend.

Despite the police activity the popular town centre park remained open to the public. It had been hosting a weekly Sunday morning car boot sale as the investigation unfolded less than 400m away.

Inspector Laura Symonds, of Norfolk Police, said: "I'm aware this incident has caused concern among the local community. The victim, a homeless man, was left with serious injuries and is in a stable condition in hospital. I would like to reassure the public we believe this to be an isolated incident and the victim and offender are known to one another."

Diss district councillor Keith Kiddie said: "This is a terrible thing to have happened. No-one can condone someone being attacked in a public park whatever their circumstances and I commend the police for acting so promptly to get someone in custody.

"People sleeping in the park is clearly not ideal. No-one wants that. I do know he was offered a place a place in a hostel but that hasn't worked out for whatever reason."

Ben Spencer, 34, from Roydon, who was with his two children at the park play area close to the area that had been sealed off, said: "It's a bit surreal for the kids to be playing while scenes of crime officers are working just over there."

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