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Bridge walk ended in brutal assault

PUBLISHED: 14:17 28 February 2008 | UPDATED: 10:31 03 July 2010

Liz Coates

A Great Yarmouth man told this week how he is rebuilding his life after a routine walk over Great Yarmouth's rundown Vauxhall Bridge changed his world in a matter of minutes.

A Great Yarmouth man told this week how he is rebuilding his life after a routine walk over Great Yarmouth's rundown Vauxhall Bridge changed his world in a matter of minutes.

The 41-year-old father-of-three suffered a fractured skull and permanent damage to his hearing and balance following the brutal attack in October 2006, and said he was horrified to read of a similar assault in last week's Mercury.

No one was ever arrested following the assault, which left the victim, who asked not to be named, unable to continue working in his role with a vintage car company.

He now walks with a stick, but despite his disabilities is retraining for a career in computer-aided design at a specialist deaf college in Doncaster.

This week, he added his voice

to calls for long-overdue improvements to the footbridge.

Investigations are continuing into the most recent attack on a teenager on February 7, at around 8.20pm.

Meanwhile, the chorus of concern grows ever louder with local organisations keen for action from owners Sustrans who say an overhaul is beyond their budget.

The 41-year-old victim said his ordeal 18 months ago came as he returned home from watching Norwich City play in London at around 11.30pm.

He said: “Leaving the station and crossing the bridge I was attacked from behind by four men. I was punched and kicked in the head several times and a friend who was with me confronted them and was also punched. They then ran off towards the Conge. I was left in hospital for two weeks with a fractured skull.

“As a result of this attack I am now deaf in one ear, hard of hearing in the other and have completely lost my balance. I had four months of physio to get me back on my feet and still have to use a walking stick.

“I still have no recollection of the incident and have only been told what happened. I believe there should be better lighting and also CCTV cameras installed.

“The bridge is also a complete eyesore to anyone getting off the train, whether you be local or here on holiday - what a welcoming sight to start your holiday.”

He said he had come to terms with his disability adding: “Being here at the deaf college I am with people who are profoundly deaf and unable to speak so I am

just grateful for what I have left.”

Anyone with information about the mugging on February 7 at 8.20pm should contact Det Con

Ian Cox at Great Yarmouth CID on 0845 4564567

To register your views on the bridge with owners Sustrans

e-mail them at maintenance@

sustrans.org.uk

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