Witness Lisa Collier told the court she saw a hooded boy grab Mr Greenwood by his clothes and pull him down on to the floor before aiming at least three or four kicks to his head. "From where I was it looked like he was directly kicking that person in the head," she told the jury. Miss Collier said she heard "muffled thuds" as the boy kicked Mr Greenwood "forcefully" before he and another boy, who she did not see taking part in the attack, left the scene.
After the attack, Miss Collier watched as Mr Greenwood used a set of railings to pull himself to his feet and made his way "unsteadily" towards where she was standing. "He was swaying from side to side," she said. "He's done some big sways then stumbled towards the road and then just fell on to the road."
So far, so par. Just another couple of kids kicking a middle aged man to death. Nothing unusual about that in twenty-first century England. It was this that really said something :
Mr Greenwood told Miss Collier he was on his way to visit his children when he was attacked. He said he did not see his attackers' faces because his eyesight was so poor. Miss Collier said: "He needed to apparently use a white stick but he told me that he chose not to because it attracted attention from people and he'd been attacked before."
Hat-tip - Bodo in the comments. Those of you still not depressed enough - try John Trenchard's British Crime Blog - logging violent incidents as recorded by the BBC (i.e. nowhere near all of them - even some murders don't get reported. Like the death of James Houliston. Also recommended - Somebody Got Murdered - monitoring UK murders. I found this last week then forgot the name. If the owner keeps it updated it could be a valuable resource.)
James Houliston memorial in Shoreditch Park.