Woman with dementia punched in the face while wearing badge saying 'I have Alzheimer's please be patient'

Adam Forrest

A woman with dementia was left with a broken eye socket after she was attacked at a roadside cafe, even though she was wearing a badge saying: “I have Alzheimer’s please be patient”.

Joy Watson, 61, said a man punched her after a dispute about how he was treating his dog in the Yorkshire town of Bridlington, where she had gone to watch friends take part in a cycle race.

“He gave me one massive hit – a huge thump to which I fell and hit my back on the concrete. He left me without knowing whether I was alive or not,” said Ms Watson, who was later taken to hospital.

Her husband, 72-year-old Tony, who was at their home in Salford when she was struck, said his wife was still “very, very shaken … she still can’t see out of the other eye and she has to go to hospital”.

Humberside Police said it is investigating the 7 July attack and appealed for witnesses to help track down the suspect who is believed to have sped off in a black car after flooring the victim.

Joy Watson at home with her labradoodle Demi (PA)

Ms Watson was diagnosed with young-onset Alzheimer’s disease when she was aged 55. She featured in the Channel 4 series The Restaurant That Makes Mistakes, and was praised by then-prime minister David Cameron for her work campaigning for others with dementia.

Recalling the violent incident, Ms Watson said she had gone to a roadside cafe near Bracey Bridge for breakfast when she saw a man mistreating his “out of control” dog.

She asked the man’s partner if she could ask him to be gentler with the dog but was told “it’s none of your business,” before the woman walked away.

After going back to her car, Ms Watson saw the man putting his dog on the seat of the car with no safety belt. She then approached him to explain his dog needed to have some security inside a vehicle.

“The wife came out, and then he said “F*** off” and thumped me,” Ms Watson said.

A cafe employee came with “loads of tissue” to help with the blood on her nose and another rang her carer, who travelled the three-hour journey from Manchester to assist her to hospital.

Humberside Police said: ““The suspect was with another woman who, after the incident, drove off towards Bridlington in a black coloured car, possibly a Hyundai. He has been described as in his 60s and wearing fawn and brown clothing.”

Anyone with information can contact police on 101 quoting reference 16/78234/19.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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