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Man beaten to pulp after defending his son from bullies

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File photo: Crime

A father, who was brutally beaten by thugs after he tried to defend his 11-year-old son from bullies, has been left unable to walk and talk and has to be fed from a tube.

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Care worker Alan Willson, 46, was knocked unconscious and attacked in Worthing, West Sussex after he intervened when he heard his son was being picked on.

He suffered lung trauma, broken bones and fractures to his spine – and had to have surgery on his brain in Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, where he remained in a coma following the incident in the evening of Sunday 4 April. 

Mr Willson, who worked throughout the pandemic, has now left hospital and been moved home as he continues his recovery but is still unable to talk or eat.

His wife Annie told the Sun that the incident has left the family in need of therapy for PTSD and that her son ‘now finds his dad a bit scary as he looks different’. 

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She said: “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. 

“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.”

In the aftermath of the attack in Longcroft Park, Worthing, Annie described her husband as “the most kind and gentleman in the world.”

Last week, police confirmed three teenagers, aged 14, 15 and 17, have now been charged in relation to the assault. 

The teenagers, who cannot be named for legal reasons, have been charged with GBH with intent which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. 

They are next due to appear at Worthing Youth Court on October 7. 

In the wake of the incident, an online appeal raised more than £35,000 to fund adaptations to the Willson’s home.

Mrs Willson said in a statement: “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.”

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