WARNING: Graphic images as Preston and Lytham Big Issue seller Lewis Holdsworth attacked by security guard Mohamed Bennassar - who wrongly accused him of theft

A shop security guard left a well known Preston Big Issue seller with head injuries after accusing him of stealing confectionary in The Mall St George’s.

Thursday, 28th March 2019, 1:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd April 2019, 1:04 pm
Lewis Holdsworth's injuries

Lewis Holdsworth, 34, who sells the publication outside M and S on Fishergate, and also in Lytham, with his Rottweiler, Georgia, had walked into the former Poundworld store with boxes of confectionary he bought from another store.

Preston’s Sessions House Court heard Mr Holdsworth became upset and aggressive after being wrongly suspected of theft.

He and security guard Mohamed Bennassar began to tussle at around 3pm on February 8 last year.

Lewis Holdsworth's injuries

But prosecutors then say the actions of Bennassar, 28, of Romney Walk, Blackburn, became "excessive and unlawful”, leaving Lewis with head wounds that needed stapling. He admitted causing actual bodily harm.

Today Lewis, who lives with partner Jade, said: “I am used to being given stereotypical treatment, I’m stereotyped a lot.

“The judge did the best with the evidence before him but I felt it wasn’t investigated thoroughly enough.

“We are planning to move away from Preston because I don’t feel safe working there.

Lewis Holdsworth's injuries

“I’m glad his licence is being taken away. I wrote to the Home office because I felt very strongly about him being able to work in security in future.”

Recorder Robert Lazarus imposed 180 hours unpaid work.

He must pay £750 compensation to Mr Holdsworth at £50 a month.

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Lewis Holdsworth's injuries
Lewis Holdsworth's injuries
Lewis Holdsworth's injuries
Lewis Holdsworth's injuries
The Mall, where the attack happened