Manchester

Poppy seller burned in aerosol attack in Manchester

Manchester Art Gallery Image copyright David Dixon
Image caption Police said the attack took place at a bus stop near Manchester Art Gallery

A 15-year-old Army cadet who was selling poppies for Remembrance Day suffered burns to his face in an attack with a lit aerosol can.

The boy, who was wearing his uniform, was at a bus stop near Manchester Art Gallery at 18:00 GMT on Saturday when he was attacked.

Police said a man lifted an aerosol can and a lighter and sprayed him with lit fumes.

The cadet suffered burns to his face and singed hairs, officers confirmed.

Greater Manchester Police said the offender, described as black or Asian, 5ft 8in tall and wearing a dark hooded top, then walked off without saying a word.

'Appalling attack'

He appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and was staggering, the force added.

Det Insp Liam Boden said: "This is an absolutely appalling attack on a young man who was raising money to help remember all those who gave their lives fighting bravely for their country.

"Whatever his motivation, his violent actions could have scarred this young man for life.

"Although he has suffered some minor injuries, it is pure luck that he did not sustain more serious burns to his face and body.

"Understandably both he and his family are in a state of total shock and cannot believe someone would do this."

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