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A 61-year-old grandfather has revealed how he thought he was moments from death when he was dragged from his car and brutally beaten by travellers after he accidentally hit a toddler at Appleby Horse Fair.
Patrick, a local shop owner, accidentally hit the three-year-old boy, who lived in an unofficial traveller site, when he ran out in front of his car.
Boy - Arm
The boy was left with a broken arm.
Patrick was then dragged from his vehicle and beaten up by a group of men who left him with broken vertebrae, black eyes and a bruised head, neck, spleen, liver and kidney.
Policeman - Life
He believed he was going to be killed and that a passing off-duty policeman saved his life.
In an interview with the Sunday Times he said: 'They weren't stopping. At that point they weren't listening they were just kicking and punching me'.
Horse - Fair - Cumbria - June - Year
The infamous horse fair is set to return to Cumbria in June this year, leaving the town's residents in fear of a repeat of last year's violence.
The annual fair, which has been running since 1775, is held by travellers and gypsies, who attend the event in their thousands.
Patrick - Shop - Town - Duration - Fair
Patrick has decided to close up shop and leave town for the duration of the fair, which sees 10,000 gypsies and travellers trade horses and livestock between June 6-9.
Head gypsy Billy Welch said: 'In the hundreds of years this fair has been going, an attack like that has never happened before.
'It - Unfortunate - Headlines - Reflection - Truth
'It's unfortunate because it creates headlines that are not a fair reflection of the truth.'
Cumbria's police and crime commissioner, Peter McCall, reportedly told residents that he would ban the fair if he 'had a magic wand'.
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