A careworker beaten as he tried to protect his son has been left unable to walk or talk and is now fed through a tube, it has been reported.
Alan Willson was left in a coma following the attack in Worthing, West Sussex, on Easter Sunday (April 4) this year.
The 46-year-old – who had stepped in to help his son, 11 – was found injured in Longcroft Park around 7.30pm.
He had brain surgery at Brighton’s Royal Sussex County Hospital and also suffered spinal fractures, lung trauma and broken bones.
Alan, who has recently left hospital after months of treatment, is now receiving care at home.
His wife Annie told The Sun : “He cannot speak and has lost vision in one eye and has now been assessed as having no mental capacity due to four brain injuries.
Tony Kershaw / SWNS)
“He cannot eat so is fed through a tube every three hours by me.
“He has had such great trauma to his face — he won’t even allow us to shave him as it’s an object coming towards him.”
The suspects, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were arrested shortly after the assault and released on conditional bail while police carried out their enquiries.
The Crown Prosecution Service authorised charges of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent on three boys aged 14, 15 and 17 last week.
They are due to appear before Worthing Youth Court on October 7.
A statement released by the victim’s wife says: “I am so grateful to everybody for their well-wishes and donations in the weeks and months following the assault on my husband.
“We have been overwhelmed and touched by the kindness and generosity people have gone out of their way to show to me and my family.
“I would like to thank the medical staff who did such an amazing job looking after my husband in hospital, and my children for being so supportive at what has been such a difficult time for us all.
“While the investigation is still ongoing, we will not be commenting or speaking any further and we continue to ask that our privacy is respected during this time so we can focus on my husband’s recovery.”
A fundraising page was set up by pal Cheryl Edwards to help raise money for his family.
Donations quickly soared to nearly £37,000 before being closed last month.
The victim’s daughter, Becky Willson, thanked supporters for their generosity.
She wrote: “Words can not describe (how grateful) I am of how much has been given to help my mum and family out at this time.
“I’m so so shocked this will help my mum out so much while my dad is in hospital thank you so so much every one xxxx.”
Mr Willson’s older brother Barrie, 52, told the Sun: “It’s awful, it has left our whole family devastated.
“We are broken and in pieces.
“He’s such a kind, lovely chap and he did absolutely nothing wrong.”
Detective Inspector Simon Dunn, who is leading the investigation, thanked everyone who had come forward to support the investigation.
Adam Gerrard / Daily Mirror)
“I’d also like to thank the victim’s family and the wider community for their support, patience and cooperation while we have carried out extensive enquiries in relation to this matter,” he continued.
“We will continue to support the victim and his family as the case progresses.”
Police in Worthing continue to carry out dedicated patrol activity in the area, to tackle reports of anti-social behaviour and criminality, and provide reassurance to the community.
Chief Inspector Sarah Leadbeatter, district commander for Worthing, said: “We understand the community’s concern following this assault, and this is something we take very seriously. We want people to be able to feel safe in the areas where they live, work and visit.
“We have stepped up our police activity in the area, including additional patrols, searches, dispersal orders and engagement with young people and other members of the public. This has been positively received so far, and it is something we will be continuing going forward.
“We also continue to work closely with partners to ensure a joined-up response to any issues that negatively impact on our communities.
“Protecting people from harm is one of our top priorities and if members of the public do have any concerns, I’d encourage them to get in touch with us so we can respond effectively.”
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