Suffolk

Attacked football fan Simon Dobbin's wife criticises case

Simon, Emily and Nicole Dobbin Image copyright Nicole Dobbin
Image caption Simon Dobbin, pictured with his daughter Emily and wife Nicole, was attacked outside The Railway pub in Southend

The wife of a football fan left with brain damage after an attack a year ago has criticised a "lack of progress" in the case.

Cambridge United supporter Simon Dobbin, 43, has just returned home from hospital following the fracas in Southend last March.

Several people were arrested but no one has been charged.

His wife Nicole said it was "very frustrating" that no one had been "brought to justice".

Seventeen arrests

Mr Dobbin, who lives with his wife and daughter in Mildenhall, Suffolk, was attacked outside The Railway pub while on the way home from Southend's Roots Hall stadium on 21 March.

Essex Police arrested 17 men on suspicion of assault or violent disorder following the attack. One man remains on bail and three men will face no further action. The force said it is continuing to work with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) "in order to reach a decision" on any charges.

Image caption Simon Dobbin has just returned home to Mildenhall in Suffolk after spending a year in hospital
Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Simon Dobbin (pictured centre) was put into a medically-induced coma following the attack

"Our lives have completely changed and yet these people are still walking around as if nothing happened.

"If they get away with it then it will send out completely the wrong message and the next person might not pull through," Mrs Dobbin said.

Neighbours put out banners and balloons for Mr Dobbin's return home earlier this week.

Image caption Neighbours put out banners and balloons for Mr Dobbin's return home to Mildenhall in Suffolk

He is still unable to talk, walk or eat solid food, but his wife said she had seen a "fantastic change" over the last few days.

"He is more alert, he is trying so hard to communicate, he has really come alive again and it has lifted everybody.

"Everyone has been so supportive and happy for us," she said.

Image caption Nicole and Emily Dobbin have taken delivery of a special bed at their Mildenhall home

The next goal is to get him talking and back "to some sort of normality", she added.

A hospital bed, a reclining chair and a hoist have all been installed at their home but she said they need to raise £20,000 for a wet room and an extra bedroom.

Mrs Dobbin and her daughter Emily are taking part in a 12-mile walk on Sunday to raise money and mark 12 months since the attack.

Image copyright Nicole Dobbin
Image caption Cambridge United fan Simon Dobbin, pictured with his daughter Emily, is "more alert" since returning home

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