Police have offered a £ 20,000 reward for information to find the thugs who brutally attacked a lifelong Liverpool FC fan.
Simon Dobbin, who used to live in Ormskirk, was left trapped in his own body, unable to walk or talk, after being targeted at a pub while attending an away match in Essex in 2015.
Simon died at his home last October, five years after the horrific attack.
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An autopsy identified a “causal link” between the injuries he sustained and his death, and Essex police are now treating his death as a homicide – a term that covers both murder and manslaughter charges.
In 2017, 13 people were convicted and convicted in connection with the violent disorder in which Mr Dobbin was injured.
Today (Tuesday, November 16), Essex Police and the charity Crimestoppers have launched a reward of up to £ 20,000 for information that could lead to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons directly responsible for Simon’s death, Essex Live has reported.
Detective Stephen Jennings announced the reward this morning, asking all members of the public to come up with details that could help their investigation – including the 13 people who were originally arrested and convicted.
He said: “A lot has changed in six years, many were quite young at the time and have grown up, have probably even had families.
“You must stand up if you are not physically responsible for Simon’s assault, which unfortunately led to his death last year.”
He added that they have analyzed forensics, suspected interviews and previous trials, but need information on who is physically responsible for assaulting Simon, adding that the investigation would be a challenge but “not impossible”.
Liverpool’s courts are some of the busiest in the UK, with a large selection of cases being processed each week.
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The Superintendent also appealed to anyone who may have heard the “whisper” over the past few years from conversations or things they saw that could help their efforts move forward.
In a speech at the news conference this morning, Nicole Dobbin, Simon’s wife and full-time caregiver, described her husband as a “kind, caring, and loving soul.”
She said: “Seeing such a strong personality and independent man beaten to the point that he was unable to take care of himself, to communicate his own needs and desires and to miss life as a whole, was devastating.
“Simon was the life and soul of any party, there was never a dark day when he was around.
“We lost part of him the day he was attacked, but together we kept smiling and continued to give him the best life we could.
“As a family, we had to come to terms with the fact that he would never be the Simon we all knew and loved – we were just grateful to still have a part of him. His beautiful smile could light up any room and see the twinkle in his eye. . “
She added: “But being grateful for this also highlighted how selfish we were. We could see the pain and suffering he was experiencing daily and the worst thing about this was that there was nothing we could do to remove it. .
“From the moment Simon awoke from his coma, the doctors were very transparent about Simon’s injuries and that his life expectancy was short and that he would inevitably die from his injuries. However, we were not aware of how little time we had left. “
The day Simon died, Nicole said the family had to say goodbye again “but this time forever”.
She added: “As much as it hurt us to say a final goodbye, we now had peace knowing that he was no longer trapped inside his battered body without being able to escape.
“We’ve had five of the most horrible years and now have to mourn over and over again.
“While the people who planned and carried out this attack go free, they left their lives as they wanted, without thinking of any of us.”
Nicole urged anyone with information about the attack on Mr Dobbin to step forward, adding: “Any detail, no matter how small, will help in the ongoing investigation.”
Anyone with information is advised to contact Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
To be eligible for the £ 20,000 reward, you must report information to the charity Crimestoppers.
At the press conference, Simon’s daughter said losing her father has been like “mourning twice”.
Emily had been at university and studying when her father died, five years after the attack that irrevocably changed their entire lives.
She said: “It’s been like mourning twice.
“The first time we still had a part of him, but last year, when he died, we had to go through the whole process again.
We live it all again, go back to the night he was attacked, we live that night every day now.
“We were convinced that Simon would wake up with a headache in the early days, but we lost a great deal of him that day and we mourned what we lost.
“But we kept trying to give him the best life we could, but then it was taken away too.”