a BELPER man has spoken of the horrific assault that has left him “scared to death”.
Kevin Lowe suffered a shattered jaw and a broken ankle after he was set upon in an unprovoked attack during a night out in the town.
His jaw was so badly damaged that surgeons have had to wire it shut so it can begin to heal. The left side of his jaw also has a titanium plate inserted.
Also, his tibia and fibia bones in his right ankle were snapped in the assault.
Kevin spoke to the News after police launched a fresh appeal for witnesses as they seek to bring those responsible to justice.
Meanwhile, the ordeal has left 49-year-old Kevin and his wife Sharon, 41, frightened to go out – and wondering if the fear will ever go away after the attack on Bridge Street and King Street at 11.15pm on Good Friday, April 22 .
He said this week: “I don’t feel any different to when I came out of hospital nearly six weeks ago. I am scared to death.
“I am watching everything and everyone all the time.
“It has affected all sorts of things. My sister got married last week. We went but we had to make sure we were back home by 7pm.
“We will not be out at night for a while now.”
Simple things that we take for granted are pretty much impossible for Kevin at the moment, because of his injuries, he revealed as he struggled to talk because of his jaw injury.
“There is no yawning or sneezing. I sneezed twice, but never again.
“And what happens if I get a sickness bug and am sick? And I can’t brush my teeth.”
Wife Sharon said: “It has turned his life upside down.”
Kevin added: “I have to eat and drink everything through a straw.
“We don’t want them to do it to someone else, thank God it wasn’t a pensioner.”
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Kevin and Sharon had decided at the last minute to go out for a drink to the Railway pub on King Street, Belper. They went out at 9pm.
While in the pub, Kevin said a group of lads were going round asking if anyone had seen a wallet. “I had never seen them before,” said Kevin.
At 11.15pm the couple left the pub and made their way along Bridge Street. They were going to get something to eat before walking home.
They had got to the Total petrol station when they heard some youths behind them. “One of them ran past us,” said Kevin. “Then one poked me in the back and said you have my brother’s wallet.”
Kevin produced his own wallet in an attempt to prove he didn’t have the other one. They didn’t believe him so Kevin said he emptied out his own pockets as proof.
“Next thing I was on the ground,” said Kevin. “One of them had hit me with something that was very hard. It shattered my jaw on the right side.
“I went down like a stone.”
When he fell over, Kevin believes he fell back off the kerb, breaking his ankle.
He is not sure where the gang of up to four were at this point but said he and his wife, who were both terrified by this point, decided to make their way back towards the Railway to try and get help.
“I was staggering along King Street with a broken jaw and ankle, spitting blood,” he said
Then, said Kevin, the youth who allegedly hit him the first time appeared on King Street.
Kevin said: “He ran down King Street, past the Railway, and whacked me with a pint pot,” said Kevin. “We are assuming the group went round the back of Haldane’s to come and get me again.”
The strike with the pint glass left Kevin with a severe cut on his left cheek and the left-hand side of his jaw broken.
Then, horrifyingly for Kevin with him lying prone on the pavement, his attacker jumped on top of him. Fortunately he was scared off by the landlord of the Railway.
“I honestly think Dave saved my life,” said Kevin. “If he had not ran down then God knows what would have happened.
“The scariest thing was he was going to attack me again whatever.”
Sharon said: “It was horrific. It has made us so paranoid.” Kevin added: “If there had been some sort of argument or something, I could perhaps understand. But it was four perfect strangers out of the blue. It is crazy. We were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Four men were arrested and have been released on police bail, pending further inquiries.
Police want anyone who was in the area at the time and maybe have seen anything to contact PC Jason Wyatt on 03451233333 or they can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.