70-year-old eco-warrior's face smashed: 'I was kicked in the mouth, kicked in the back'

By Cherie Taylor -
11 comments
Shannon man Corny Andrews was attacked at his farm in Shannon. Photo / Horowhenua Guardian
Shannon man Corny Andrews was attacked at his farm in Shannon. Photo / Horowhenua Guardian

A 70-year-old eco-warrior has been left bruised and battered after being beaten in a "cowardly" attack outside his Shannon home in the dead of night.

Shannon man Corny Andrews said he heard something outside his home about 11.30pm Saturday and went out to investigate to see two men standing beside his van.

The former professional wrestler and former trade unionist said before he knew it he was being attacked from behind with a "king hit". He believes there were four men involved.

"I asked them what they were doing and then I heard a noise to my left and the next thing another guy smacked me in the face. I never saw it coming. The force knocked me down the steps. I was seeing stars," he said.

But the attacked didn't stop there.

Mr Andrews said as he tried to get up the attackers started kicking him about the head and body.

"I was kicked in the mouth and kicked in the back. As I tried to get up I was kicked in the wrist ... It was a cowardly attack on a defenceless person in the middle of the night. I didn't have a chance against them."

It wasn't until his wife Charlotte aka "Nanny Sharky" heard the commotion and put her head out the bedroom window that the violent attack stopped. As they left the men commented on who had sent them. However, the Horowhenua Chronicle will not identify them as police are investigating the assault.

"It happened so fast."

He didn't want to call police but did so after being encouraged by friends.

Mr Andrews is an environmental activist and spent Friday and Saturday prior to the attack, dealing with an issue to do with Shannon's Sewerage Treatment Plant where he and Shannon councillor Ross Campbell filmed what they believed to be raw sewage being pumped into the nearby Otauru Stream (Standsell drain) which then poured into the nearby Mangaone Stream, which feeds the Manawatu River.

Video

He said he was angry about seeing the river being polluted by raw sewage.

However, Mr Andrews said he doesn't know why he was attacked later that night.

Manawatu police area commander Inspector Sarah Stewart said police yesterday received a complaint of an assault on a male.

"It was reported to us that this occurred at his home address in Shannon on Saturday evening," she said. "The male has bruising to his face and has been advised to seek medical attention."

Ms Stewart said police knew there was some speculation about the incident on social media.

"However, at this very early stage of the investigation, we are not in a position to comment any further."

In his earlier years in Shannon, he was involved with the Foxton Rugby Club, rubbing shoulders with Nomad gang members without any problems and he can't think why anyone would target him.

"All I've really done is fight for the future of our children ... I'm not a violent man. Violence just breeds violence, I believe ... I've lived here close on 40 years and get on with everyone."

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