A Preston father has taken the agonising decision to release a photograph of his 28-year-old son fighting for his life in hospital to highlight the awful damage one punch can do.
Ben Pennington is in a coma in the intensive care unit of the Royal Preston Hospital after being knocked unconcious by a total stranger in a nightclub at the weekend.
Surgeons had to remove a large part of his skull in a five-hour operation to stem two bleeds and relieve the pressure on his brain.
Today dad Mark, who runs the family bakery and sandwich business in Bamber Bridge and Walton-le-Dale, explained: “It took a lot of soul searching before I released the photo of Ben.
“But I’m glad I did it because it has brought witnesses forward and it could prevent this happening to someone else in the future.
“At the moment we are taking it one day at a time.
“On Saturday morning we didn’t think Ben would get to Monday. Yesterday he was better than the day before and today he is slightly better than yesterday.
“The picture may be a bit graphic, but it shows people what damage a single punch can do.”
Sales manager Ben was with a friend at the Level One nightclub in Darwen on Friday night when he was felled by a punch from a man who had just arrived at the bar.
“He was only there because his friend Ryan lives over there. It is not a place he visits normally.
“Apparently two lads came up and one started talking to Ryan. The next thing Ryan turned round to see Ben on the floor. He had hit his head on the corner of the bar as he fell.
“He had never met these two lads before, they were complete strangers.
“Part of the reason for putting the photo out was to get witnesses to come forward. I gather the CCTV footage of the bar isn’t very good.
“A couple have come forward already, but we need more people to tell the police what they saw.”
A man has been arrested on suspicion of assault and released on bail.
Police have issued an appeal for witnesses to come forward.