THE local community has rallied behind North Nowra man Francois Beugels, who was bashed while on his evening walk last Sunday.
Residents in Page Avenue have said they won’t stand for thuggery and are set to form their own regular afternoon walking group.
A special walk to support Mr Beugels is also being promoted on Facebook.
Organiser Susan Evans has proposed the walk for this evening at 6pm.
In her post Ms Evans said residents wanted to be able to walk along Page Avenue, North Nowra.
The walk will start behind the North Nowra Tavern.
“This walk is just to show that thugs don’t make a community, good people do,” she said.
“I started the idea of this as there are so many walkers of all ages who do that circuit and we all need to feel safe.
“I do not want to bring any notoriety to the thugs, but by getting the community together it will be known that we can watch out for each other.
“We should not be afraid to walk alone at any time of day or night.
“Francois is a friend of mine and he has been overwhelmed by the kindness of so many people.”
The Nowra City Church has also thrown its support behind Mr Beugels.
Pastor Peter Pilt said the church has been in contact with Mr Beugels and had offered its assistance.
“We offered to cook him some meals and some other things and we had another pastor go round and see him,” he said.
“It was an horrific crime, I was certainly shocked when I heard about it.
“I work in North Nowra and regularly walk around the streets up here and it is totally out of character for the area.
“You don’t expect this type of thing in North Nowra.
“Perhaps if you were walking in parts of Los Angeles after dark you might expect it but not in North Nowra early on a Sunday evening.
“Perhaps the muggers should have come to church instead.
“But we are certainly available to help Mr Beugels with anything he may need.”
Seventy-six-year-old Mr Beugels was assaulted and robbed, kicked in the head and left lying in the gutter with a severely battered and bruised face.
Mr Beugels was on his daily walk around 6.30pm on Pitt Street, North Nowra when he noticed two people following him.
He continued walking and was near the intersection of Page Avenue and Goolagong Street when he was attacked.
Two men were arrested and charged over the incident last Thursday evening and will appear in court on October 8.