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Renewed appeal after assault on Deal fisherman Dave Lawrence

By Eleanor Perkins

The wife of a Deal fisherman who was "left for dead" in a vicious attack six months ago has renewed a plea for information as police threaten to stop their investigation.

Dave Lawrence, 63, was beaten unconscious with a wooden plank by a group of youths when he asked them to get off his boat on the beach near Prince of Wales Terrace, on Monday, July 24.

The culprits ran off leaving the dad-of-two with a fractured eye socket, cheekbone and jaw.

Fisherman Dave Lawrence says he was left for dead
Fisherman Dave Lawrence says he was left for dead

Sixth months on, his wife Bev Lawrence, 60, says the couple are still “none the wiser” as to who is responsible despite police releasing clear CCTV images of people they’d like to speak to.

She’s described her partner of 30 years and husband for 15 years as a “changed man” who can no longer be in crowds, and is pleading for anyone with information to come forward.

She told the Dover Mercury: “It’s an injustice.

“We’re six months on now. Someone must know who is responsible. As his wife, I can tell you what happened has affected him tremendously.

"He cannot go into crowds. He was the only male I knew that didn’t mind shopping but that has all changed.

“He suffers more than he’d let on. It’s upsetting for me too. He’s just a totally changed man.”

One of the suspects caught on CCTV
One of the suspects caught on CCTV

Mr Lawrence, a fisherman in Deal for 50 years, said the youths “left him for dead and ran off”.

He admits himself the incident has scarred him mentally and described his dismay when he received a call from police last week saying they may have to file the case unless further evidence is brought forward.

He said: “I feel hurt. I think it’s wrong. It sickens me that someone can go around knocking the hell of out of people and still be walking the streets.

“I was lucky but if he got somebody who wasn’t as strong I think he could kill.

“This has scarred me mentally. If I’m in crowds of people I get panicky, my heart starts pounding.

“Everyone who knows me knows I used to be tough as old boots. I was very outgoing, nothing would frighten me.”

"We're six months on now... someone must know who is responsible" - Bev Lawrence

Mr Lawrence was due to have corrective surgery following his injuries but has since been told it would be too dangerous to operate.

He said: “The hospital said they aren’t going to repair my fracture because it is too dangerous and I could lose my left eye.”

As a result of the incident, he says he won’t be celebrating the New Year in company, instead he’ll be at home.

He said: “We always go out on New Year’s Eve to celebrate but I just can’t do it anymore.

“Whoever did it has got a nice Christmas present, thinking that they’ve got away with it.”

A police spokesman said: “It is alleged that at around 7.50pm on Monday, July 24 2017 a man in his 60s was assaulted by a group of people on the beach near to Prince of Wales Terrace."

Anyone with information can contact police on 01843 222289, quoting ZY/33907/17, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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