Hunt for traveller after baseball bat attack on boy, 13

AN APPEAL has been launched to find a traveller who allegedly attacked a 13-year-old boy with a baseball bat.

Greig Wilson needed emergency surgery after his right arm was shattered following just one blow from the weapon.

It is believed that the man responsible was a traveller, who had set up an illegal camp in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire. But soon after the attack, the group fled and police are now hunting for the man.

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Last night Greig's mother Margaret Wilson, 45, said: "I burst into tears when I found out what had happened. It was the scariest moment of my life.

"I have never had any problem with travellers. I thought this was their way of life and they didn't mean anyone any harm.

"They always say they are law-abiding citizens and this is their chance to prove it. They all know each other and someone in the community must know who this is. They should turn him in."

Tensions have been simmering for several months between residents and travellers in the coastal town. Despite being evicted by the council, travellers have repeatedly set up illegal camps in the town. Residents claim they are untidy and intimidating and use legal loopholes to camp wherever they want.

The travellers have accused locals of anti-social behaviour, pelting their caravans with eggs and stones.

On Friday night, Greig was out with friends, three girls and a boy, and was close to a camp at Mineralwell Park. A silver 4x4 came out of the camp and the driver shouted at the teenager and accused him of breaking a caravan window. The passenger then jumped out and lunged at Greg with the bat, breaking his right arm and chipping a bone in his left.

Greig maintains it was a case of mistaken identity and that he and his friends had done nothing wrong. The teenager, a pupil at Mackie Academy, said: "After he hit me, I was in total shock.

"I thought he was just trying to give me a scare, then the bat connected. The pain was unbelievable. I've never felt anything like it before."

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The man, who is thought to be in his late 20s or early 30s, swung the bat again but Greig managed to get out of the way. He was taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary where medics had to rebuild his arm with wire, screws and metal plates.

Ms Wilson said: "The doctor told me that it was one of the worst breaks she's ever seen. His arm has swollen to double its usual size. I still can't believe that this man could do something like this to a child."

Ms Wilson and her husband Kevin, an oil engineer, had hoped that police would make a quick arrest.But when officers turned up at the campsite, they found that the caravans had all gone.

David Fleming, the Stonehaven community council chairman, was alarmed by the attack, adding: "I'm very concerned about the level of anger in the community about the lack of action from the authorites to deal with unauthorised campers. We're in talks with the council to try and resolve the situation before things get any worse."

A spokesman for Grampian Police confirmed they were investigating the attack.