Morecambe man left in coma after brutal assault speaks out
‘All I want is justice’ – these are the words of a young man who was brutally assaulted and now wants to tell police what he knows in a bid to try and catch the culprits.
For Chris Griffin, the evening of Good Friday 2017 was meant to be a fun night out in Morecambe with friends.
But then the now 23-year-old from Heysham was brutally assaulted and left in a coma with a severe brain injury.
Now nearly two years later, Chris wants to tell his story and bring his attackers to justice.
Chris, struggling to talk clearly and still undergoing rehabilitation after suffering a severe head injury, said: “I was out with friends in Morecambe on that night, and went to the Ranch House first of all.
“I knocked someone’s drink over and went to the toilet.
“Two minutes later I came back and the man whose drink I had knocked over confronted me.
“I said ‘sorry for spilling your drink.’
“The same chap started following me as we went up the promenade past KFC.
“I knew people in the King’s Arms. That’s where everything kicked off.
“I went outside and he pushed me. We had an argument and I swore at the two of them.
“Then it was three on one. One of them punched me in the jaw and I fell to the floor.
“I got up and punched him. One of them punched me on the forehead. I’m a boxer so I punched him with my right hand.
“I fell on the floor then I was punched in the head, arm and chest.
“My brother came over and they ran off and left me on the floor.
“It was three lads who attacked me. I had a bust nose and my head was aching.”
Chris’s dad Mark Griffin said: “There was a group of people fighting and he was trying to help his friend. He was punched, he fell and then somebody jumped on his head.”
A young lady came to his assistance and she had just done a first aid course so knew to put him into the recovery position.
Mark said: “My friend who is a policeman said it was near enough a murder scene, his injuries were that bad.”
Chris said: “I tried to get up but people were telling me to stay down because I had a bad head injury.”
The assault happened when Chris was on the promenade over the road from the King’s Arms pub.
He was rushed to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary with a fractured skull and a bleed on the brain.
He was then taken to the Royal Preston Hospital which specialises in neurosurgery.
“They decided to remove most of his skull and he was in a coma for two weeks, “ said dad Mark.
“Then he came round. He’s a big fan of (boxer) Tyson Fury. So we played him Tyson Fury interviews and they brought him out of his coma. Tyson is his hero.
“He started walking and talking and getting back to himself, more or less. He was doing a lot better than they expected.”
Chris was eventually moved back to the RLI to continue his recovery.
“He had a security team looking after him there and he did really well, ” said Mark.
“Due to his injury, he could become aggressive and had no concept of safety, so it was in case he wandered off. But then he had a mini-escape at the end of June. He got out and went to KFC.”
Before the attack, Chris was a strapping young lad of 6ft 7ins and 16 stone, a former Heysham High School pupil who worked as a scaffolder and went to the gym every day.
He lost four stone whilst he was in hospital.
As well as his severe head injuries, Chris fractured three teeth and had to be fed through a tube in his stomach.
He also had two tracheotomies to help him breathe, and his throat will have to be operated on due to scar tissue in his windpipe. He is currently having speech problems and still can’t eat solid food.
But, his dad Mark said: “He is a fighter.”
He now goes to the gym with his trainer and is currently working out on a rowing machine.
Chris said: “People would pick on me because I was so big. The night before the attack I said ‘I’m getting sick of being picked on’ then that happened.”
Mark said: “Why have the police not pulled someone in? Chris can’t sleep. If he can’t say what happened now he might forget, I think he is well enough to talk to the police.
“There were no cameras and no witnesses that we know of. Chris hasn’t received any compensation for what happened.” Chris said: “I lost my job roofing and I’m determined to get it back. My memory is coming back over time.”
Mark said: “It is frustrating. It’s making your voice heard.
“I’m trying to get Chris so he can live on his own.
“He is still undergoing rehabilitation at the moment. He is learning to look after himself again.”
Mark, 56, of Heysham, said: “He just wants his say and I wish the police would stand up and listen.
“The thugs who attacked my son could end up doing the same thing to someone else.”
Chris’ attackers have never been brought to justice.
No arrests have been made and police said enquiries are ongoing.
A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: “Officers are planning to get an account of what happened from Mr Griffin (this hasn’t been possible before now) so the case remains open. It’s not true to say we aren’t interested. “
If you have any information about the attack, call police on 101 quoting log number: LC-20170415-0127.