Mum of brutal attack victim Lee Anthony: ‘We don’t know if he’ll ever be able to speak again’

Brenda and Lee Anthony

Brenda and Lee Anthony - Credit: Archant

The mother of a man left fighting for life after being attacked outside a pub has spoken of the family’s devastation.

Lee Anthony

Lee Anthony - Credit: Archant

Brenda Anthony spoke to the Welwyn Hatfield Times about the impact the vicious beating, outside the Two Willows, in Howardsgate, Welwyn Garden City, on March 28, has had on her son Lee, 29, and the whole family.

Asked about her son’s condition she said: “He’s not able to speak yet, I say ‘yet’, but we don’t know if he’ll ever be able to speak.

“He’s paralysed down his right side and we don’t know if he’ll ever get that back, though we think he will.

“He does seem to recognise us and his friends.”

The Two Willows pub, in Howardsgate, WGC

The Two Willows pub, in Howardsgate, WGC - Credit: Archant

She said so far medics had been unable to give the distraught family any indication as to “how good a recovery he will make”.

His brother, Glen, said he was “still nil by mouth being fed through a tube”.

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Reliving the night of the attack Mrs Anthony, of Ramblers Way, WGC, said: “It was 4.30 in the morning when we got the phone call from the Lister.

“They said they couldn’t deal with it and were sending him to Addenbrooke’s – then we knew it was serious.”

Later, when she arrived at the Cambridge hospital, she was again made aware of the gravity of the situation.

“They sent him straight to theatre and he was having brain surgery at that time,” she said.

“I just went into autopilot, I just couldn’t believe how you can go out and that can happen.”

She said she was given three potential outcomes of the surgery and was told Lee would not wake up at all, wake up with disabilities or make a full recovery.

The family are hoping for the third outcome, but are under no illusions as how long a road they have ahead of them.

“He’s got weeks in hospital and months of rehabilitation,” Glen added.

His mum said: “It’s strange to be told he has a brain injury and you say ‘thank you’, because he could have died.

“If someone hadn’t have phoned an ambulance we could have been dealing with a different thing.”

Pleading with witnesses to come forward Brenda called the attack “mindless violence” and said: “If it was your brother, or son or boyfriend you would come forward and realise how devastated we are.

“He’s a young man, he’s self-employed [and] we don’t know if he’ll ever work again.”

Glen said: “My brother is very loud and bubbly he’s been cut down to like a baby.”

Urging witnesses to make themselves known to police he added: “The people that did this are nothing to be scared of, they’re just juvenile reprobates.”

Mrs Anthony said: “It is three weeks later and I still can’t get my head around it, it breaks my heart to see him.”

The mother and son made a heartfelt final plea for witnesses and said: “We don’t want this to be forgotten.”

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