Community campaigner with cerebral palsy subjected to vile abuse in Rugby town centre

Kieren is urging others to come forward and report any abuse they are subjected to

Kieren Brown - photo taken when he was campaigning for better road safety in Newbold.

A community campaigner and former borough councillor for Newbold and Brownsover has been left 'gutted' after he was subjected to vile abuse because of his disability in the town centre.

Former councillor for Brownsover, Kieren Brown, is well-known in the town for both his work as a councillor and his campaigning on various issues including road safety and accessibility for disabled people in the town.

Kieren, who has cerebral palsy, was out on the night of Friday (August 27) when he was subjected to the disgusting abuse.

He said: "I'd been out having a few beers at Quigley's [on Albert Street] and I'd stopped for a moment outside.

"It was about 11:15pm and three guys walked past me and one of them, who looked about 18 years old, said, 'get out of the way, you f***ing sp****c'.

"I just stood there in complete shock. I had been having a nice night, I had done nothing wrong.

"It's absolutely awful, the fact that this can happen.

"If I'm honest, it knocked me sideways, I was toying with the idea of saying something to them but I know if I had done that they would have all started on me."

Kieren said people with visible disabilities have had to deal with abuse for a long time - but he had hoped that in recent years attitudes had improved.

"We've just had the Paralympics, we've seen people with disabilities achieving amazing things and inspiring people.

"The worst part is the fact that at nearly 40 years old I am still having to deal with this stuff - and I'm far from being the only one.

"There are many brilliant, good people in Rugby town centre and I've always felt safe there. This has really shocked me.

"I know what that group wants - they want people like me to never go out, to hide at home.

"I'm not going to do that."

Kieren has reported the incident to both the police and Rugby's branch of EQuiP, a charity which works to combat discrimination.

In contacting the Advertiser Kieren wishes to use his experience to urge others who have been discriminated against or abused to report all incidents to the authorities.

Kieren added that he has previously campaigned to make Rugby more accessible for people with disabilities, and this incident has spurred him on to push even further.