Plea to find thugs who coaxed autistic man out of his home before launching a 'disgusting' assault
The sister of a 'loveable and friendly' autistic man who was beaten up outside his home has made a plea to help catch those behind the 'disgusting' attack.
Joel Buckle, 27, from Burntwood, was lured out of his flat and attacked by four hooded men near to the Ryecroft shops off Fernleigh Avenue between 11pm and midnight on Monday evening.
After hearing the group calling his name and asking him to come outside, Joel was initially hesitant but was eventually coaxed out, which led to the unprovoked attack which has left him with a broken nose.
Joel's younger sister, Leah Gregory, has asked for anyone who can help find the attackers to come forward.
She said: "It is absolutely heartbreaking for our family and of course for Joel.
"He does struggle socially because of his autism sometimes but everyone in the community knows him as loveable and friendly, he is a real trier and a good person.
"It hurts to know that this would have been a planned attack, they knew his name and I just don't understand why this would happen.
"It is disgusting what they have done and they need to be caught."
After posting an appeal for help on social media, a picture of Joel in hospital has been shared far and wide in an attempt to find the attackers.
Leah said: "I have been in contact with Joel a lot while he has been in hospital and of course while he is very upset about what happened, there has been an amazing amount of goodwill come his way and he really does appreciate it.
"There have been some beautiful gestures, including one person who offered him free kickboxing classes so he can defend himself."
A Staffordshire Police spokesperson said: "The incident happened at around 11.30pm on October 30.
"A 27-year-old man was assaulted by four people outside his flat in Fernleigh Avenue.
"His attackers are described as in their late teens or early twenties, all wearing dark coats and grey jogging bottoms.
"One had ginger hair and another wore a turquoise hoody.
"All had their faces mostly obscured by hoods.
"Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting incident number 141 of 31 October or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."