'Police are investigating after a homeless man was burnt when a lit firework was placed in his pocket in an “animalistic” attack in Liverpool.
The rough sleeper, described by volunteers as an army veteran, suffered burns to his skin, clothes and hand in the city centre attack on Monday night.
Merseyside police said they were called at about 8.20pm to a report that a man had been assaulted with a firework by a group of young people outside Liverpool Lime Street station.
Ch Insp Paddy Kelly said on Tuesday that police were urgently trying to trace the victim.
The man, thought to be an established rough sleeper and well known to homeless volunteers in the city, managed to remove the lit firework from his pocket but burnt his hand in the process.
He was later spotted by volunteers from the Papercup Project, a homeless outreach scheme. Team member Andy Shute said: “Four youths walked past him and one said, ‘have a sparking good time, mate,’ and as they walked away he said he could smell burning.
“He looked down and his coat was smouldering. He said he’d dealt with flash bangs in the army so he grabbed hold of it as tightly as he could. It went off and burnt through his coat and on to his leg.”
Shute said the victim told him he should probably go to hospital but that “our type aren’t welcome up there”. He described the homeless man as “a really lovely, very well spoken guy”.'
Read more: Group assaults homeless man with firework in Liverpool
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