Appeal after fancy dress assault

A FRESH appeal has been made to try and trace the attackers of a man who was beaten with a plank of wood as he walked home from his birthday celebrations.

Annie Davidson

A FRESH appeal has been made to try and trace the attackers of a man who was beaten with a plank of wood as he walked home from his birthday celebrations.

Andrew Duckworth fractured his jaw and skull and suffered extensive mouth injuries including losing six teeth in the unprovoked assault in Braintree.

The self-employed electrician was walking home in fancy dress as Superman's love interest Lois Lane - accompanied by his friend dressed as the super hero - when two young men began verbally abusing him and then attacked him with a piece of wood they had ripped from a nearby fence.

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Mr Duckworth, who had been celebrating his 29th birthday at Escape nightclub in Marks Tey, was heading back to his sister's home in Coggeshall Road in Braintree when he was set upon.

Police believe the attack, at the junction of Coggeshall Road and Marks Farm roundabout at 4.30am on September 7 this year, was witnessed by passing motorists and urged them to come forward.

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A 24-year-old man who was arrested in October in connection with the attack has been released from his police bail without charge and officers are keen to receive new information.

Mr Duckworth, who lives in London but regularly visits family in Braintree, appealed for help in catching the two men shortly after the assault.

He said at the time: “The two lads were across the road outside the shop, just hanging around and talking to each other.

“I was still dressed as a woman and they started hollering, screaming and swearing and calling me names. When I took off my wig they went mental.

“One of them went up the road and started ripping off this piece of fence and had a huge bit of wood -they were just threatening me, screaming and shouting.”

After nine days in Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, during which he underwent extensive surgery, Mr Duckworth was left with persistent headaches, no sense of taste or smell and had lost a stone and a half.

“They could have killed me,” he said. “The thing that scares me is they started on me as a woman. If it had been some poor girl, then this easily could have been something horrific.”

Detective Constable Jo Smith said yesterday: “We know that there were vehicles around at the time of the attack and the occupants may well have noticed two men in fancy dress and may also have seen the attack.

“I would urge anyone who has any information about this attack to contact me.”

Anyone who has information is asked to contact police on 0300 333 4444 or Crimestoppers on 0800 111555.

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