AN EX-SOLIDER who once served with Prince Harry claimed he was strangled by a stranger and 20 witnesses did nothing to help.
James Wharton, 32, said he was “disgusted” when he had to defend himself as no one in the crowd even dialled 999.
The ex-squaddie said the stranger came after him because he looked at him “the wrong way” as he was heading in to work through the Birmingham city centre at 9am on Monday.
The man started hurling insults at Mr Wharton and while he tried to snap a picture of him to report to West Midlands Police he was attacked.
He said it is the second time he has been attacked in Birmingham after moving to the Midlands 18 months ago – and he was mugged once before in the 11 years he lived in London.
Mr Wharton was a member of the Household Calvary, Blues and Royals, and was among Britain’s first openly gay soldiers.
He also escorted the Queen to the Prince William and Kate’s wedding in 2011.
He served with Prince Harry in Canada but left the forces in 2013 and a wrote book about his experience called Out in the Army, My Life as a Gay Soldier.
‘NOT ONE CAME TO HELP ME’
James, who is originally from North Wales, said: “What is wrong with society? I’m disgusted nobody gave a f***.”
“There were easily 20 people in the street all around me. Not one came to help me. Not one.
“Even the window cleaner at one of the shops didn’t fuss himself with me being strangled in front of him on the floor.
“I eventually called West Midlands Police – and the man continued to attack me while I was on the phone.
“The man eventually ran off, but the police were too late, and he escaped.
It happened as he walked past a Debenhams on his way to work at the Holloway Circus-based Birmingham LGBT charity.
He added: “Apparently I looked at him the wrong way.
“Where I come from, if you see some behaving aggressively in the street at passersby, you’re
liable to look at them a bit funny.”
I was thrown to floor, my phone was taken off me, he slapped my glasses off my face, he strangled me.
After hurling insults at his target, the man walked away.
But he turned violent when Mr Wharton took a picture on his phone, intending to pass it to police.
Mr Wharton said: “I took a picture of him, because I was sure as hell going to report what I’d seen and had to endure.
“However, upon seeing me do this, he came back to me and full-on attacked me.
“I was thrown to floor, my phone was taken off me, he slapped my glasses off my face, he strangled me.”
After sharing his story on Twitter, he was sent a string of supportive messages – one from a man who believed he had also been confronted by the same individual.
The message said: “Brum isn’t a bad place but there are one or two bad eggs that let us down.”
“I have come across this individual as well who wanted to fight with me.”
Mr Wharton previously made headlines in 2013 after he revealed Prince Harry saved him from an attack involving six fellow soldiers.
After he fled, he found the Duke of Sussex – then his tank commander – and told him he feared he was going to be “murdered” by them.
Prince Harry told him: “Right, I’m going to sort this s*** out once and for all.”
He then warned the gang they would be disciplined if they continued with their threats.
MOST READ IN NEWS
A statement from West Midlands Police read: “Police are investigating after a man was assaulted as he walked along Dudley Street in Birmingham city centre at 9am on June 24.
“The victim was grabbed around the neck by a stranger; he was not hurt. The offender ran off and enquiries are under way.
“Anyone with information can contact us via Live Chat at west-midlands.police.uk between 8am and midnight or call 101 anytime quoting 20BW/149186V/19.”
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at email@example.com or call 0207 782 4368. You can WhatsApp us on 07810 791 502. We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.