- Vaughn Williams, 65, was taking part in a peaceful protest protest in Cardiff
- But a ‘lunatic’ worker allegedly attacked Mr Williams, injuring the grandfather
A grandfather was left with bruises and a loose tooth after a worker allegedly attacked him at a demonstration against a new cycle path.
Vaughn Williams, 65, was taking part in a peaceful protest when a contractor jumped out of his van and started throwing punches, it is claimed.
Part-time Asda delivery driver Mr Williams was left with a lump on his head, a bruised cheek and a loose tooth from the attack.
The father-of-four was protesting against plans to demolish a £300,000 house in his quiet cul-de-sac in Pontprennau, Cardiff, to make way for the cycle path.
The campaign to ‘Save Number 43’ from the bulldozers turned ugly at the early-morning protest 10 days ago.
Vaughn Williams, 65, was left with a bruised cheek and a loose tooth following the alleged assault
Protestor Vaughn Williams trying to stop the van moments before he was allegedly assaulted
Police are investigating the alleged assault following the demonstration in the suburb of Pontprennau
Mr Williams was holding a banner across the access road to a new social housing estate next to the leafy and well-established Clôs Nant Glaswg, where he has lived happily for 27 years.
Police and developers Edenstone Group were informed that the protest was set for between 7.15am and 7.45am but no one told the site workers.
They turned up for work to see their entrance blocked, sparking a verbal confrontation before a black van arrived on the scene.
Mr Williams said: ‘It drove towards us gently pushing me back against the hedge. Then the driver got out.
‘I was holding up my mobile phone to film what was happening when he hit it out of my grasp and stamped on it.
Two men square up to each other as the row over ‘Number 43’ in Pontprennau turns ugly
The property has now been surrounded by a fence as anger continues to brew among locals
The destruction order for the property forms part of a proposal for 45 new social housing homes – comprising 22 flats and 23 houses – next to the existing private properties on the leafy outskirts of Cardiff
‘The next thing he grabbed hold of me and started throwing punches into my ribs and I took a glancing blow to my cheek.’
Former police officer Mr Williams briefly grappled with the man 25 years his junior before breaking free.
He said: ‘I had a lump on my head and a bruised cheek – a few days later a tooth on that side of my face came loose.
‘It was a peaceful protest, the banners said Stop the Demolition and Save our Street. The police drove past and gave us the thumbs up.
‘But this individual acted like a lunatic. It was an act of violence, there was no need for it.
‘There is another entrance to the building site, the workers could have easily used that one instead. We weren’t blocking it.’
Mr Williams’ wife Alison added: ‘The man throwing the punches was a lot younger than my husband.
‘How would he like it if someone started throwing punches at his father? It’s no way to behave.’
The four-bedroom private home, which is less than 20 years old, will be flattened to create a cycle route to a new ‘affordable’ housing development
South Wales Police are investigating the alleged assault and studying the video footage filmed by shocked protestors.
Mr and Mrs Williams, who ran a fish and chip shop business together for 25 years, say they have no objection to the social housing scheme next door but they can’t see the point of a cycle path which will lead onto their estate and then go nowhere.
The couple and their neighbours are angry that Cardiff Council gave the go-ahead for their quiet estate to be ‘ripped apart’ by the cycle path connecting the new estate into Clôs Nant Glaswg.
They point out that ‘Clos’ is Welsh for ‘Close’ but the three-metre-wide path will open up the estate ruining their safe and peaceful environment.
Mr Williams added: ‘We bought into a close 27 years ago now, in their wisdom, they want to open it up to all and sundry and make it a right of way.
‘We can’t work out why they need connectivity to our estate – the path will actually go nowhere.’
Within 24 hours of the alleged assault, workmen arrived to put up a nine-foot-high wooden fence around Number 43, which has been empty for six months.
The owners agreed to sell the 20-year-old property now due to be flattened to make way for the path.
‘Danger Keep out’ boards have been nailed to the wooden fence along with a Welsh language sign belonging to Newport-based private security company Aegis, brought in to protect the site.
More protests are expected when the bulldozers arrive to knock down Number 43.
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