Police hunt for clues on street attack

DETECTIVES investigating a serious assault on a man who is fighting for his life in hospital hope to have gained vital clues after questioning more than 300 people a week on from the incident.

DETECTIVES investigating a serious assault on a man who is fighting for his life in hospital hope to have gained vital clues after questioning more than 300 people a week on from the incident.

Tony Latchford, 36, from Bury St Edmunds, is still lying unconscious in Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, after receiving serious head injuries in what police believe was a vicious and unprovoked attack.

He was found by a group of youths at the entrance to a building site, off St Andrew's Street North, Bury St Edmunds, at about 7.45pm on Saturday, January 15.

He was initially taken to the West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds, before being transferred to a specialist unit at Addenbrooke's, where he remains in a "critical" condition.


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Detectives have only "sketchy" details about the incident and, on Saturday night, an eight-strong team of police officers carried out anniversary checks in the area to trace anybody who would have been in the vicinity at the same time the previous week.

They spoke to 299 motorists and 51 pedestrians in the operation and Det Sgt Barry Byford, who is leading the investigation, said: "In general we had a very positive response from the public.

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"We will now be working to process the information provided and will be making follow-up inquires to determine if there is any new leads that need to be followed up.

"This is a very busy road, and there would have been a lot of people around at the time Mr Latchford was attacked.

"I am sure there must be someone out there he saw something or knows something about the incident."

Initially, officers investigating the case where mystified over how Mr Latchford received his injuries, but following medical examinations, they believe he was attacked.

Prior to the attack, Mr Latchford was in the Grapes pub, just yards away from where he was found, and is known to have left the premises around 6pm.

Det Sgt Byford said: "At this stage we really do not know what happened to Mr Byford after he left the pub, our inquiries are starting from a very broad base.

"We know he was drinking in the Grapes and as far as we can establish there was no problems in the pub, so there is a window of around one hour and 45 minutes we are concentrating on.

"Obviously, we will continue our inquiries at the pub and we also have a lot of CCTV footage we need to study to see if we can ascertain Mr Latchford's movements after leaving the Grapes."

The detective said he was convinced Mr Latchford been the victim of an unprovoked attack.

"He is a man who is in employment and of good character. From what we have established he is a pleasant man who keeps himself to himself," he said.

"He has only moved to Bury from London in the last six months so he tends to have acquaintances rather than friends, which has also limited our inquiries.

"It seems Mr Latchford has been an unfortunate victim, who certainly didn't deserve to be left lying unconscious on the floor with serious head injuries."

A 30-year-old man who has been arrested in connection with the incident has been released on police bail and is due back at Bury St Edmunds police station on February 20.

Anyone with any information about the incident should contact Bury St Edmunds CID on 01284 774100 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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