Daniel Smith, an autistic man, was charged with assault by police after an alleged attack on him. His is not an isolated case
It was clear something was very seriously wrong when Daniel Smith arrived at his father Owen’s house in the early hours of the morning on 18 October last year visibly bruised and shaken. Owen Smith had spent the previous few hours anxiously looking for his 25-year-old son, who has autism, after he failed to turn up to meet him as planned.
“I looked at his face and I thought ‘oh my God, what’s happened?,’” Smith recalls. At first he thought his son might have knocked himself out and been at a hospital. But it was much worse than he feared. Smith believes Daniel had been the victim of a brutal disability hate crime where he was repeatedly beaten and punched while trying to defend himself against two attackers, but it was his son who was then charged with assault and detained in a police station, alone and vulnerable for nine hours.