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Teenagers bully flood victim

Prime Minister Julia Gillard meets with Blake Rice who wears his arm in a sling during her visit to Toowoomba.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard meets with Blake Rice who wears his arm in a sling during her visit to Toowoomba. Bev Lacey

A CALLOUS attack has left the family of flood hero Jordan Rice shaken and looking to leave town.

His brother Blake Rice, 10, had his collarbone broken when set upon by a group of teenagers who used sticks to bash the youngster.

Those responsible then went on to create the Facebook page We bashed Blake Rice.

The attack was reportedly motivated by Blake’s recent national media exposure.

His brother Jordan and mother Donna died after being swept away in Toowoomba’s devastating flash flood on January 10.

Jordan, who was 13 at the time, courageously told rescuers to “take my brother first”.

Family friend Debbie Anderson, who knew Ms Rice for 35 years, said the family was fed up with the treatment it had received since the tragedy.

“They’re having great difficulty with certain members of the community,” she said.

Since the attack, Blake has been unable to return to school and has struggled emotionally.

Ms Anderson said the latest assault was not an isolated incident.

She said many members of the Rice family – and even her own family – had been bullied, abused and picked on because of what occurred in January.

“They’ve laughed in our face about Jordan’s death,” Ms Anderson said.

Mayor Peter Taylor slammed the actions of those who attacked Blake.

“I think it’s absolutely appalling,” he said.

“Those people responsible should be brought to justice.

“The full force of the law should be brought down upon them.”

Cr Taylor called on members of the community who might know those involved to come forward.

“I call on anyone who can help identify those responsible to stand up,” he said.

 


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