Men abuse disabled child and baby before punching mother in hate crime, police say

Police have launched a hate crime investigation after two men shouted abuse at and threatened a severely disabled girl in a wheelchair before punching her mother.

Detectives said the 10-year-old child was left “hiding under a table, shaking and extremely distressed” after she was targeted in a McDonald’s restaurant in Manchester.

The men also threw a drink over a five-month-old baby in a pram and a three-year-old girl during an attack described by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) as “abhorrent”.

The force said two mothers and their three children were targeted in Market Street, near the Arndale shopping centre, in an incident described by officers as “abhorrent”.

In a statement, police said: “The mums had gone into Manchester city centre with their children on a day out when two men began shouting abuse at the 10-year-old girl outside Boots.

“Incredibly distressed by what had just happened to all of them, the mums retreated to McDonald’s in St Ann’s Square to calm the children down.”

The group was followed by the men, who “brazenly sat themselves next to their victims and again began abusing the little girl in the wheelchair, shouting derogatory comments and threatening violence”, police said.

“As the girl became increasingly upset, her mum stood up to confront the men about their behaviour. She was then punched in the face by one of them leading to a scuffle between the two men and the mums.”

During an ensuing scuffle, one of the men threw a drink at the 10-year-old which “ended up covering all of the children including the baby, and one of the mums,” police added.

On Thursday GMP released CCTV images of two men wanted in connection to the attack, which happened at about 2.10pm on 20 August this year.

Constable Dave Stebbings, of the force’s city centre team said: “Occasionally, we receive reports that make you sick to the stomach.

“How anyone could attack and abuse young children and their mums on a day out, I have no idea.”

“During the commotion the 10-year-old girl ended up hiding under a table shaking, extremely distressed by the abuse and assault on her mother. It breaks your heart thinking about this.

 “Thankfully the injuries sustained will leave no visible scars, but the mums and their children will take much longer to recover from the trauma of their experience.

“There is no place for this appalling behaviour in society.”

He added: “I would like to hear from anyone who recognises the men in the images to get in touch. I also hope to hear from anyone who witnessed these abhorrent assaults.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 0161 8563221, or call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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