A PENSIONER falsely accused of being a paedophile was battered unconscious on his way home from a pub.
The vicious attack was the latest in a nightmarish cycle of violence and unwarranted abuse that has left 65-year-old Richard Brinham in complete despair.
As previously reported in the West Briton, Mr Brinham said violent youths were in control of the Trelander estate where he lives and had made his existence "a living hell".
He believes the unfounded accusations of paedophilia sprang from a former relationship with a 25-year-old woman.
The father of two was walking up St Clement's Hill on his way back from playing darts at the Britannia Inn on Quay Street when he was attacked without warning.
He said: "I crossed over to the left-hand side and 'bang' – I was hit on the head with something. I suppose it was a lump of wood.
"I was hit on the back of the head and then hit in the face when I was falling. I was knocked out. As I was falling I heard a car drive away.
"I didn't have a chance to defend myself – it was an ambush from behind."
The brutal attack has left the former security guard in severe pain.
He said: "My head has not stopped aching yet and I still have black eyes."
Mr Brinham featured in the West Briton two weeks ago when he said the constant abuse was driving him to suicidal thoughts.
He got in touch after lollipop man Andrew Banfield, also of Trelander, had posters stuck up around the estate falsely accusing him of being a paedophile.
Mr Brinham said the situation on the streets of Trelander was intolerable, adding: "I'm getting 'paedo' screamed at me when I go out and the kids have been calling me pervert. It's a living hell."
He admitted hitting two youths and was arrested for affray the second time his garden was vandalised.
Mr Brinham said he was in discussions with Cornwall Council's Homechoice service to find new accommodation. He said: "I'm desperate and I need to move. I'm not a paedophile and it's made me sick."
Police are appealing for witnesses to the assault at about 11pm on October 1.
PC Paul Stevenson, the officer investigating the attack, said: "Whatever the circumstances this was a nasty attack on a pensioner.
"From the information we have it was completely unprovoked."
Anybody with any information is asked to contact PC Stevenson on 101.