Man tells of attack ordeal

By Mark HeathAN arthritis sufferer who was left beaten and bloodied after a vicious unprovoked attack has spoken of his ordeal.Nigel Gilson had to have a hip replacement operation following the horrific attack and now has to walk with the aid of a frame.

By Mark Heath

AN arthritis sufferer who was left beaten and bloodied after a vicious unprovoked attack has spoken of his ordeal.

Nigel Gilson had to have a hip replacement operation following the horrific attack and now has to walk with the aid of a frame.

He has been in hospital since the incident, which happened in the early hours of Sunday near his home in Ipswich.


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The 52-year-old suffered a broken hip, cuts to his head and bruising after he tried to calm down a man whom he saw arguing with a woman in Willowcroft Road.

He approached the couple after mistaking the girl for his daughter, Samantha, but was knocked to the floor by a flurry of punches and kicks.

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Speaking from his hospital bed, Mr Gilson, who has suffered from rheumatoid arthritis since 1990, said: “The person that did this to me must be caught. I just want to know why he did it - what's made him like this?

“I wasn't a threat to him in any way at all and I have no idea why this has happened. I would love to see him again and just talk to him and ask him why he did it.”

Recalling the attack, Mr Gilson said: “The noise woke me up - this young man was really shouting at the woman.

“I threw some clothes on, but when I got outside they had disappeared, although I could still hear him shouting at her in a very aggressive and angry way. I was concerned that he was going to hurt her - I was terrified for her.”

Mr Gilson managed to track the pair down in an alleyway known as The Drift, between Elmcroft Road and Ashcroft Road.

He recalled: “I shouted at the lad to stop arguing. I said that we should have a chat and try to sort things out - with that I got hit.

“The first thing I felt was my left hip breaking and then I must have blacked out for a while because I woke up on the floor with my face and head covered in blood.”

Unable to walk, Mr Gilson managed to drag himself to a nearby house and alert the occupants, who called in the police and the ambulance service.

“I would do the same thing again. Even though it wasn't my daughter, the same principles are still involved - it was a young lady who was obviously terrified and scared of this man and was trying to get away,” said the father-of-three.

“I still haven't heard about the girl and that concerns me. She was petrified and I would just like to know she is okay.”

The man who attacked Mr Gilson is described as white, aged between 19 and 23, 6ft tall, of muscular build, with short-cropped brown or sandy coloured hair and smartly dressed.

The woman was also white, aged between 18 and 20, 5ft 10in tall in heels, of slim build with short hair and a short jacket.

Detective Inspector John Quinton, of Suffolk police, said: “We are very keen to hear from anyone who witnessed this couple - we understand that they were arguing in the street both before and after the assault took place.

“We are also keen to speak to the woman who was present. It is understood she wasn't involved in the assault, but it maybe that she is unaware how serious the assault actually was.”

Anyone with information should contact Ipswich police on 01473 383133 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

mark.heath@eadt.co.uk

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