Family devastated after disabled former miner ridiculed in 'headless man' video in Chesterfield

A councillor has demanded an apology from the Mirror newspaper after a disabled former miner was ridiculed in an online video captrued in Chesterfield.

Monday, 29th October 2018, 9:01 am
Updated Monday, 29th October 2018, 10:03 am

The video of the 80 year old man from Sutton was posted on the Mirror online website over the weekend, with the headline:

“Family get Halloween fright as they spot ‘headless’ man walking down street”

The light hearted piece went on to describe how a woman and her family had been ‘stunned’ by the sight in Chesterfield.

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The video has since been taken down.

But Huthwaite councillor Lee Anderson said the family of the man in the video have been devastated by his portrayal.

In a letter to the Mirror shared with your Chad, Coun Anderson writes:

“The ‘Headless’ man you refer too is an 81 year pensioner from Ashfield in Nottinghamshire who suffers from spondylitis, back and neck problems as well as the early onset of Alzheimers.

“This gentleman worked underground at local collieries for nearly 50 years and because of a roof fall underground which saw him trapped for 30 hours was not expected to live, however after several months of recovery at our local hospital he was able to come home and resume work back underground albeit on lighter duties.

“A lifetime of working underground as well as an accident that saw him nearly killed has resulted in a disability that has left him in pain and affected his posture.

“As a local District Councillor, I have today met with his family who are distraught that the Daily Mirror could run with such a story.

“This article pokes fun at his disability and makes light of the fact that his posture affects his appearance from behind.

“I am sure this could be considered a hate crime and therefore I have reported this article to Nottinghamshire Police.

Coun Anderson added: “The Daily Mirror is a newspaper that claims the moral high ground on equality yet is happy to publish an article that clearly ridicules a disabled man due to his disability. The residents of Ashfield who have seen your article online are quite frankly disgusted.

“At a time when Hate Crimes are on the rise you are publishing stories that are trying to provoke a cheap response. This has quite clearly backfired and I therefore suggest the following.

An immediate withdrawal of the article; a full apology to the family, an apology published in the newspaper and online.

Coun Anderson also suggests the editor and reporter should attend equality training and make a donation to a charity of the family’s choice.

More when we have it.