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Purfleet clothes van raid assault: £3,000 reward offered

Published 29/07/2015

Adam Nichols on BBC Crimewatch after his assault
Adam Nichols on BBC Crimewatch after his assault
Officers said the gang left empty-handed

A £3,000 reward is being offered in return for information about a "horrifying" assault in which a former professional footballer was stripped, Tasered and beaten by a gang of masked men.

Adam Nichols, 52, who played for Ipswich Town in his youth, was ambushed by four men as he guarded a van of clothes worth £200,000 on Ensign Industrial Estate in Purfleet, Essex.

The gang stormed the camper van where he was keeping watch before pepper-spraying him, stunning him with a Taser and repeatedly beating him.

They went on to wrap his face in duct tape and strip him of most of his clothes. He escaped only by crawling underneath a van and later managed to raise the alarm with his eyes, nose and mouth still taped.

The gang threatened to kill him if he did not hand over the keys to the van but left empty-handed.

The attack on January 28 left Mr Nichols, who runs a designer clothes delivery business with his brothers, blind in one eye, with no feeling in the left side of his face and with shattered ribs.

Recalling the attack, Mr Nichols told BBC One's Crimewatch: "I remember my whole body, people just kicking me.

"I remember going, 'I have children, please do not kill me, please do not kill me'.

"I was swallowing blood and then they lifted me up and then that's when they started taping my face up. They went right across my mouth and I was struggling to breathe.

"They would have killed me. They would kill someone."

Crimestoppers announced a reward of up to £3,000 in return for information that leads to an arrest and conviction of those responsible.

Antonia Litten from Crimestoppers said: "I cannot even begin to imagine what this man has gone through during this horrifying attack.

"These four men have carried out a cowardly act to fulfil their greed, and they should not be allowed to get away with their actions.

"I'd urge anyone who has information to come forward and contact Crimestoppers anonymously, safe in the knowledge that no one will ever know you contacted us."

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