Cleaner bashed in violent early morning attack

"FRIGHTENING and terrifying" is how a school cleaner described the brutal attack that left him with a broken jaw and a body covered in bruises.

Rodney "Soapy" Steele was set upon by four offenders while cleaning the Stanthorpe State Primary School in the early hours of Friday morning.

The group of two males and two females repeatedly kicked and punched Mr Steele in the face, torso and head.

The injured man phoned Police Link at 3.30am after a door had been smashed.

He chased the youths off the property, but they returned - jumping a school fence and brutally assaulting him.

The attack has left the community stunned and Mr Steele has been inundated with calls of support from people around town.

While Mr Steele said he would recover from the physical trauma, he was left emotionally scarred by the incident.

"I'm a bit scared, but I'll get over it," he said.

Mr Steele's wife Francis said her husband had been doing it tough over the past few days and that she was worried about the physical and mental toll the attack would take.

Stanthorpe Police officer-in-charge Mark Ireland condemned the unprovoked attack.

"It is always disturbing when something like this happens. It doesn't matter where it is," Snr Sgt Ireland said.

Snr Sgt Ireland is confident the offenders - believed to be aged between 16 and 20 - will be caught and said CCTV footage was being reviewed in an effort to track them down.

"We are asking for the people involved to come forward and give their side of the story."

Mr Steele will travel to Brisbane today to receive specialist treatment for the injuries sustained to his jaw.

Anyone with information can call Stanthorpe police on 46816400 or Crime Stoppers on 1800333000.



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