Wife of brain-damaged football fan left ‘frustrated’ by release of attackers
- Credit: Archant
The wife of a football fan left paralysed following a brutal attack says she still feels anger towards the men responsible – who have all now been released from prison.
Simon Dobbin, from Mildenhall, was set upon by a group of hooligans after watching his team Cambridge United play away at Southend United on March 21, 2015.
The savage 90-second attack following the match left Mr Dobbin fighting for his life, and he was 'clinically dead' for seven minutes before he was revived.
He spent four months in an induced coma at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, and after returning home in March 2016, is now fed through a tube and requires round-the-clock care.
A total of 12 men were jailed in July 2017 for the attack, but the last remaining prisoner was released on February 5.
MORE: Twelve men jailed over attack which left Suffolk's Simon Dobbin with brain damage after Southend vs Cambridge matchSpeaking to this newspaper nearly five years since the attack, Mr Dobbin's wife Nicole said: "I still feel anger towards them. No amount of time, even though they served very little, is ever going to change the outcome for Simon.
"It's frustrating because the sentences do not reflect Simon's injuries.
"We try to get him the best possible care but I know he gets frustrated because he can't communicate.
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"It's heart-wrenching to see him trapped in that body with those injuries."
Since the attack, Mrs Dobbin has campaigned for "Simon's Law" to be introduced to force violent offenders to make payments to the NHS for the rest of their lives.
Her petition, launched last year, calling for the law change has received more than 46,000 signatures to date.
This led to a meeting with justice secretary Robert Buckland at the beginning of February to discuss the campaign.
"It was really interesting," she said. "He totally got where I was coming from.
"But he said it was not going to practical and would be very difficult to implement."
Mrs Dobbin added that she also discussed charging prisoners for their stay in jail.
"I said that taxpayers' money could be better spent. Students have to pay back loans, so why shouldn't criminals pay for their own stay in prison.
"He said he'd go away and discuss it with others so we'll just have to wait and see."
MORE: Family of Simon Dobbin 'utterly overwhelmed' after DIY SOS offers to rebuild Mildenhall homeNick Knowles and BBC's DIY SOS team visited the home of Mr Dobbin in November 2017 to help make improvements to the Mildenhall father's house.
The work included a bedroom, physio space, wet room, and social space, with downstairs and outdoor access for Mr Dobbin in his wheelchair.
The emotional episode aired in January 2019.