Stratford man assaulted and abused during swan rescue operation - The Stratford Observer
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11th Aug, 2022

Stratford man assaulted and abused during swan rescue operation

Laura Kearns 13th Jun, 2019 Updated: 13th Jun, 2019

A SWAN rescuer was assaulted in Stratford while helping an injured bird.

Former mayor Cyril Bennis was by the river next to the RSC at around 7.30pm on Saturday May 18 when he was pushed.

Mr Bennis, who is in his 70s, was not injured in the assault, but says around an hour later he saw the same man on Banbury Road and was verbally abused.

Police are now appealing for witnesses to the attack and are looking for a white man, aged 45 to 55, around 6ft tall who was wearing a light coloured baseball cap and a long brown jacket.

Call officers on 101 or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 with any information.

It has not stopped Cyril carrying on with his work caring for the town’s swan population, and he was involved in the rescue of  cygnets swept over a weir in Luddington.

Brian Duckhouse had been observing the swan family of five while in the area on his narrowboat when he noticed two of the young swans missing.

He said: “I’d seen them around quite politely showing off their babies so I noticed when two were missing. I looked for them for about an hour before I saw them huddled in the weeds at the bottom of the weir. They must have floated off in the strong current.”

He called swan rescuers Cyril Bennis and John Payne from Wychbold Swan Sanctuary who arrived armed with bread and nets and managed to retrieve following a two-hour rescue operation.

Mr Duckhouse has praised the duo for their quick response and expertise in rescuing the swans.

Search Stratford-Upon-Avon Swan Rescue on Facebook to see a video of the reunion.

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