Five Teenagers Admit Attack On Watford Fan In Wolverhampton
19 August 2016, 16:30 | Updated: 19 August 2016, 16:32
Five Wolves fans, all teenagers, have admitted an attack which left a man in a coma for months.
Watford fan Nic Cruwys suffered serious head injuries after being attacked by the group after a match between the clubs in March last year.
Four 19-year-olds and a 15-year-old have changed their pleas to guilty - mid trial - each admitting their part in the attack.
Nic was left for dead by his attackers after he left the Molineux and walked back towards Wolverhampton train station with friends on Saturday 7 March last year.
The court heard that he tried to get away from the group after they started shouting at him near Littles Lane but he fell over and was repeatedly punched and kicked as he lay unconscious on the ground.
Nic was taken to New Cross Hospital and then transferred to the QE in Birmingham where he was found to have a fractured skull and a bleed to the brain.
He was put into an induced coma and when he awoke 10 days later tests found he had suffered life changing neurological damage.
Nic spent over three months in hospital and a rehabilitation centre before returning home where he continues to receive treatment on a regular basis.
Police launched a major investigation and, after scouring CCTV and appealing to the public for witnesses to come forward, those involved were identified.
Daniel Lloyd, aged 19, of Tillington Street in Stafford; Joseph Lister, aged 19 of Palmer Close, Wednesfield; and a 16-year-old boy - who cannot be named for legal reasons - all pleaded guilty to wounding.
Ryan Meer, aged 19, of Gailey in Staffordshire, pleaded guilty to affray and Robert Beech, aged 18, of Springhill Road in Wednesfield, admitted threatening behaviour.
And a 15-year-old boy pleaded guilty to wounding with intent at an earlier hearing.
Detective Sergeant Adam Keen, from West Midlands Force CID, said: “This marks the end of what has been a long and complex investigation and we’re delighted that justice has been done.
“It is now more than 17 months since the attack happened and Nic is continuing to receive regular treatment to help him recover. It was an appalling, unprovoked assault and we hope that the verdicts will bring some comfort to Nic and his family.
“During the course of the investigation we made several appeals to the public for information and received dozens of calls which have helped us to secure these convictions. I want to take the opportunity to thank everyone who came forward and assisted us.”
Nic’s family added: “We would like to say a huge thank you to West Midlands Police for their extensive work and support we have received over the past 17 months. Also, to those who came forward to assist the police and gave evidence during the trial.
"Although Nic will never fully recover, we are now hoping to try and move on with our lives and try and put the horrific situation behind us.
"We are delighted that the people involved have been charged and hope that the verdict reflects the injuries Nic suffered and our families pain and suffering caused by their mindless actions.”
All six will be sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court on 9 September.