AN ice cream vendor claims he was beaten up by a rival in a turf wars incident in West Swindon.

The alleged assault happened in Peat-moor, at 2pm on Tuesday.

The victim was driving along Thames-down Drive and onto Purton Road before he says he was stopped by another ice cream van which had followed him.

The victim says the younger rival blocked his path and punched him in the face, telling him to get off his patch.

The alleged incident occurred around the new Ridgeway Farm housing development, and the victim said his attacker had claimed the area as his own.

The 63-year-old victim, who wished to remain anonymous, claims his attacker had been threatening himself and other ice cream vendors for some time.

“I have been doing this for 45 years, since I was just 18 years old,” he said. “On the 22nd of this month I got beaten up by another ice cream man. He has only been in the business for a few years. He has been bullying me and a few others.”

The victim said he has traditionally sold ice cream all around Swindon but more rivals have been coming onto the scene, so his fleet of seven vans has been reduced to two.

“He claims that the site where they are building houses up in Peatmoor belongs to him,” the victim added.

“It’s like he put a flag down there and now says that’s mine.

“There are only a few houses there so far because they are still building, but he says it belongs to him.

“He decided to follow me on Thamesdown Drive in the middle of the road. He was going fast through the traffic lights, and when they went red I had to stop. He blocked me with his van so I couldn’t get away.

“He is much younger than me, and he punched me in the nose and threatened to kill me. He punched me twice in the head and tried to open the van door. In the end I drove away to get away from him.

“I thought my nose was broken so I went into hospital but it was just very swollen.

“I used to have quite a few vans, around seven in total, but I have sold a few off just to bring the problem down a bit. He wants to put me out of business. He doesn’t want anyone else working in the area.

“Now I will leave it to the police so they can do what they do. “ A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said they are investigating the incident.

“We can confirm we received an allegation of an assault on an ice cream vendor involving another ice cream vendor at approximately 2pm on July 22nd,” a spokesman said.

“The incident occurred near to Purton Road, Moredon, Swindon.

“We would like to hear from anyone who may have witnessed the assault and would ask them to get in touch with us via 101. Enquiries continue.”