Dwarf left paralysed after being thrown by drunken rugby fan
Published 12/01/2012 | 14:06
POLICE in the UK are hunting a drunken reveller wanted for random dwarf throwing after a man was left partially paralysed following an assault at a pub.
Martin Henderson - celebrating his 37th birthday with friends - was thrown into the air by a hooded thug in a copycat of the shamed England rugby star Mike Tindall's behaviour in the summer.
Tindell was kicked out of the Elite Player Squad squad after a the English RFU investigation into his drunken night in a dwarf-themed Queenstown bar
In the copycat incident a month later, Mr Henderson suffered damage to nerve tissue in his spine causing his legs to go numb after landing on his back on the pavement.
Officers have now launched an investigation into the incident.
Mr Henderson condemned the hooded stranger after the cruel prank left him confined to a wheelchair.
He said: "From what I remember, there was only one person involved but it was very scary as I didn't know what was going on.
"I guess I was an easy target and the only reason I was picked on was because I am small.
"People's attitudes to me when I go out can be pretty cruel. Most are OK but you get the odd idiot who will make fun and start laughing at me.
"You just have to ignore it but this is the first time I have been picked up and thrown about."
Mr Henderson, who has dwarfism, was celebrating his birthday at the White Horse pub in Wincanton, Somerset, on October 7 when the prankster struck.
It came one month after England rugby players were caught 'dwarf throwing' at a bar during a drunken night out.
The team's boozy antics followed their first match victory against Argentina in the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
Mr Henderson, from Milborne Port, in Somerset, said the drunken punter picked him up after he went outside for a cigarette while his mates were playing pool.
He said: "We were having a good night out to celebrate my birthday and there were a few of us drinking together in a corner of the pub.
"I went outside for a cigarette and the next thing I know I'm suddenly in the air and someone has got hold of me.
"I was then dropped on to my back on to the hard floor."
Mr Henderson was rushed to Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton for treatment by ambulance later that night when his back and legs began to feel numb.
A scan revealed tissue damage to his back and he was released from hospital the following morning.
But the victim, who also suffers from spinal stenosis, has struggled to walk properly since and has lost the strength in his back and legs.
Despite regular hospital visits for further scans and physiotherapy, Mr Henderson now has to use a zimmer frame to walk.
Doctors have told him he will need a wheelchair for longer journeys.
Mr Henderson claims he has also recieved some further provocation since the incident and has spoken out against those picking on him - because of his slight size.
He said: "When I got home from hospital, one of my friends wanted to meet up in Wincanton that Saturday night.
"As I was walking through St Peter's Church yard on my crutches, another lad stopped me and started on me.
"It was only verbal and I think he was hoping I would hit him with my crutch so he had an excuse to beat me up, there were two other lads in the background.
"I'm sure the two incidents were related as the lad said he knew who I was with when I was attacked the night before - I felt very intimidated, but luckily I got away without any more trouble."
Mr Henderson has also suffered a broken wrist since the attack after he fell over when his legs gave way.
A spokesman from Avon and Somerset Police said: "Officers investigating would like to speak to anyone who may have been in the pub on the night of October 7.
"It follows an incident in which a small person was picked up by an unknown person in the bar and dropped."
The man was described as being of a slim build, dark hair, around 5ft 8inches tall and wearing a hooded top and baseball cap.