Heartbroken Sheffield mum reveals disabled daughter tried to kill herself after stranger’s ‘verbal assault’
A heartbroken Sheffield mum has revealed her disabled teenage daughter tried to kill herself after she was subjected to a stranger’s ‘vile verbal assault’.
Anita Abbott said that her 13-year-old daughter Jasmine was rushed to Sheffield Children’s Hospital for treatment after attempting suicide on Monday.
Jasmine, who requires 24-hour support after a car accident in 2008, was playing at Handsworth Community Park on Thursday, June 27.
As she waited to play on the swings, a man came over and launched a ‘hateful’ attack after describing the teenager as ‘intimidating’.
After verbally abusing Jasmine’s support worker, who stepped in to try and diffuse the incident, the man left the park with his son.
Anita said that, four days after the vile attack, Jasmine had self-harmed and had tried to take her own life.
She is now recovering at Sheffield Children’s Hospital but Anita is worried the comments will permanently torment Jasmine.
“Jasmine has a severe brain injury from a car crash 11 years ago,” Anita explained.
“She’s quite a big girl for her age but emotionally she is still very young. She was just waiting for the swings when this man in his 30’s came over and launched into a vile attack.
“He was asking what her problem was and telling her that she shouldn’t be allowed in the park or out of the house.
“Jasmine was distraught after the incident. We came back home on Monday and discovered that she had attempted to take her life and had self-harmed quite badly.
“She is recovering in hospital and the staff have been amazing but we’re worried that these comments will permanently torment her.”
Jasmine was left with a severe brain injury after a car crash in 2008 and now requires the assistance of a support worker.
Following the verbal assault, Anita rang the police who have logged the incident as a hate crime.
Anita said that, during the man’s outburst, horrified witnesses intervened and told him to leave the park.
She is now appealing for them to get in touch with police, as well as anyone who may have witnessed, in the hope of identifying the man.
“We just can’t believe someone would be so cruel. It’s absolutely mortifying and we feel like our family has been broken,” Anita explained.
“I just can’t understand what has brought this attack on. It’s quite clear that Jasmine has a disability and her need for the support worker shows that.
“I’d like him to put himself into our shoes. What happened to my daughter could happen to anyone so how would he react if it had been his child?
“I just want to see that smile back on Jasmine’s face.”
South Yorkshire Police said that they are trying to identify the man who is described as in his 30’s with a full sleeve of tattoos.
A spokesperson said: “Police were called around 5.20pm on 27 June to reports of verbal abuse to a young girl at Handsworth Park on St Joseph’s Road.
“The 13-year-old girl and a 20-year-old woman were at the park when it is reported a man unknown to them has become verbally abusive towards the girl.
“The woman and the girl then left the park. Police are continuing with enquiries to try and identify the man.”
Call 101 with any information.