Victim of 'racist' knife attack has benefits cut

The Bolton News: Reece Johnson Reece Johnson

A SCARRED man who claims a racist knife attack has left him unemployable has had his benefits suspended.

Reece Johnson, aged 26, needed nearly 70 stitches when he was slashed on the side of his face while walking with his then five-year-old son.

The father-of-three, from Breightmet, was attacked in May, 2010 near to the entrance of Bobby Heywood Park in Great Lever, and says potential employers are put off by the scar on his cheek and neck.

Now the Department for Work and Pensions has suspended his Jobseeker’s Allowance — which he has claimed intermittently since the attack — because he has not been trying hard enough to find work.

The DWP said people must comply with rules for claims, or risk losing the benefits.

“I’ve been in the local paper and a national paper explaining the problems I am having, but it doesn’t seem to have made a difference,” said Mr Johnson.

“I don’t think what they did is right, especially when it was just before Christmas. All they told me was my search was not up to standards expected.

“They know I am struggling to find work because of what happened to me, and I have told them that I want a job to look after my family.”


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Mr Johnson also said the Job Centre had not been particularly helpful. Every now and then when you sign on they pull you in for a meeting, but these are quite rare,” he said.

“I know I have a responsibility as well to make something happen, but I have made efforts to make people aware of what’s happening to me but the DWP doesn’t seem to take any notice.”

A DWP spokesman said: “It’s only right that people should do everything they can to find work in return for their benefits.

“We make the rules clear to people at the start of their claim and that they risk losing benefits if they don’t play by them.

“Sanctions are used only as a last resort and people in genuine need can apply for hardship payments. If someone disagrees with a decision made on their claim they can appeal.”

Mr Johnson was attacked by a group of 20 men, who he believes targeted him as a white man in revenge for the death of 19-year-old Seffar Khan, who died in the same park three years earlier.

Nobody has been charged with the attack on Mr Johnson.

Comments (11)

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10:40am Thu 2 Jan 14

MarkAllRead says...

Why doesn't the Bolton News take him on? They could run it as a regular feature to see how he's getting on.
Why doesn't the Bolton News take him on? They could run it as a regular feature to see how he's getting on. MarkAllRead

11:54am Thu 2 Jan 14

Browny91 says...

Why does the headline say 'racist' in that format ??
Why does the headline say 'racist' in that format ?? Browny91

12:49pm Thu 2 Jan 14

tr1981 says...

why not post what skills he has? a potential employer might take him on from reading this article
why not post what skills he has? a potential employer might take him on from reading this article tr1981

1:01pm Thu 2 Jan 14

boltonbetty says...

Browny91 wrote:
Why does the headline say 'racist' in that format ??
Because the victim alleges that this was a racist attack and no one has been charged or convicted it remains an allegation and so the word racist is correctly put into quotation marks.
[quote][p][bold]Browny91[/bold] wrote: Why does the headline say 'racist' in that format ??[/p][/quote]Because the victim alleges that this was a racist attack and no one has been charged or convicted it remains an allegation and so the word racist is correctly put into quotation marks. boltonbetty

2:05pm Thu 2 Jan 14

Julian Thorpe says...

boltonbetty wrote:
Browny91 wrote:
Why does the headline say 'racist' in that format ??
Because the victim alleges that this was a racist attack and no one has been charged or convicted it remains an allegation and so the word racist is correctly put into quotation marks.
Thank you, boltonbetty. Quite correct.
[quote][p][bold]boltonbetty[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Browny91[/bold] wrote: Why does the headline say 'racist' in that format ??[/p][/quote]Because the victim alleges that this was a racist attack and no one has been charged or convicted it remains an allegation and so the word racist is correctly put into quotation marks.[/p][/quote]Thank you, boltonbetty. Quite correct. Julian Thorpe

6:38pm Thu 2 Jan 14

Bert_Anchovy says...

Is amir khan unavailable for comment.
Is amir khan unavailable for comment. Bert_Anchovy

12:23am Fri 3 Jan 14

farnworth's mafia says...

drama queen go get a manual job like the rest of us u scrounger
drama queen go get a manual job like the rest of us u scrounger farnworth's mafia

5:14am Fri 3 Jan 14

MasterOfPuppets says...

farnworth's mafia wrote:
drama queen go get a manual job like the rest of us u scrounger
It says he has. Some employers are put off by his SCARS. So yea. Getting a job isn't that easy, dude.
[quote][p][bold]farnworth's mafia[/bold] wrote: drama queen go get a manual job like the rest of us u scrounger[/p][/quote]It says he has. Some employers are put off by his SCARS. So yea. Getting a job isn't that easy, dude. MasterOfPuppets

5:14am Fri 3 Jan 14

MasterOfPuppets says...

farnworth's mafia wrote:
drama queen go get a manual job like the rest of us u scrounger
It says he has. Some employers are put off by his SCARS. So yea. Getting a job isn't that easy, dude.
[quote][p][bold]farnworth's mafia[/bold] wrote: drama queen go get a manual job like the rest of us u scrounger[/p][/quote]It says he has. Some employers are put off by his SCARS. So yea. Getting a job isn't that easy, dude. MasterOfPuppets

10:24am Fri 3 Jan 14

Jim271 says...

26 years old, no job 3 kids.

If he's got time to make kids he's got time to look for a job.

He's just milking it now, does he think any employer is going to employ a troublemaker like him after this article.
26 years old, no job 3 kids. If he's got time to make kids he's got time to look for a job. He's just milking it now, does he think any employer is going to employ a troublemaker like him after this article. Jim271

12:50pm Fri 3 Jan 14

cliff4treasurer says...

NON?
NON? cliff4treasurer

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