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Mum’s fundraiser to thank homeless hero who helped son during Stratford Centre ‘acid’ attack

PUBLISHED: 12:51 17 October 2017 | UPDATED: 12:51 17 October 2017

L to R: Justine Turvey and homeless hero Paul (Picture: Justine Turvey)

L to R: Justine Turvey and homeless hero Paul (Picture: Justine Turvey)

Justine Turvey

A mother is raising money to thank the homeless man who helped her teenage son and friend injured in the Stratford Centre ‘acid attack’.

Justine Turvey’s 18-year-old son, who asked not be named, and his friends were attacked by a group of youths as they left the shopping centre last month.

After the gang punched and kicked them during the incident at around 8pm on September 23, a noxious liquid was sprayed in his and his friend’s faces, which also hit bystanders.

As the suspects fled the scene, a local homeless man, Paul, stepped in to help the boys.

“Paul took the boys to Burger King to get water to wash out their eyes and skin,” said Stratford mum Justine. “He also helped calm them down before the police arrived.

“Understandably they were quite shaken by the attack.”

Witnesses reported seeing water and toilet paper all over the floor in the fast food outlet’s toilets.

While, outside, emergency services cordoned off the area and rushed to treat the victims.

Luckily none of those injured suffered life-threatening or life-changing injuries.

“After learning about this selfless act, I wanted to do something to show my appreciation for Paul,” said Justine. “He is a well-known figure around Stratford – he is good natured and kind.

Paul was his mother’s full-time carer, she said, but was forced to leave their flat and made homeless after she died.

Justine decided to set up an online appeal for funds to help take him off the streets.

“This isn’t the first time he has helped people out. He helps with staff from a fast food restaurant every day when they have to empty the bins in a dark alley,” she added. “The security staff at [Stratford Centre] speak really highly of him.”

The appeal has raised nearly £1,400 at the time of publication, enough for Paul’s breakfast and bed for a month.

But with winter fast approaching, Justine hopes to find a permanent shelter for the have-a-go hero.

“I want to show that generosity works both ways and after all we could all quite easily end up in his position as things do not always go as planned,” she added.

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