Published: 16:47, 07 December 2018
| Updated: 17:03, 07 December 2018
A man who confronted thugs shouting at a shop worker was left with a broken jaw and a bleed on the brain after being attacked outside the store.
Andrew Lewis popped to his nearby newsagents, Kingsgate in Broadstairs, to pick up some tobacco - only to find two men being aggressive towards a member of staff.
Intervening, the father-of-four told the pair to "back off" before they then left.
As the 40-year-old stepped out of the shop shortly before 10pm on Friday, November 23, he was punched in the back of the head and fell to the ground before the two men kicked and stamped on his face, knocking him unconscious.
The newsagent dialled 999, but the pair had left by the time they got there.
Andrew's wife Nathalie Field, with whom he has separated but remains good friends, said: "The newsagent phoned the police as Andrew was unconscious on the floor.
"By the time they arrived the men had run away and Andrew had come to, told the police he thought he was OK, went home, vomited a lot and passed out for nearly 24 hours in bed where I found him on the Sunday, barely conscious, so I phoned an ambulance."
Mr Lewis was found to have a fractured skull, a bleed on the brain and his was jaw broken in two places.
After spending a week in hospital, he is now home, but is unable to return to work as a plumber.
Ms Field added: "His lower jaw at the front was completely snapped and had to be plated.
"He is not allowed solid food for six weeks, as there is a chance it could displace the break, and no work or heavy lifting for the next few weeks."
But for Mr Lewis, it is not just the physical injuries that are a problem.
"It has taken a massive toll on Andrew's mental and emotional health," Ms Field added.
"He is not the Andrew that we know and love. He is very depressed, anxiety-ridden and in a lot of pain still. He also has no recollection of the attack, the last thing he remembers is leaving to go to the shop.
"We have pieced together what happened from the newsagent's account and the landlady at the 19th Hole pub nearby."
Mr Lewis is self-employed, and runs his own company called ACL Plumbing, working with his 17-year-old son Leo.
With three other children – two sons aged 14 and 10 and four-year-old Ezzie – Ms Field says Mr Lewis "lives for his kids."
She said: "They all adore him, Ezzie is a complete daddy’s girl and it’s really affected her seeing her dad so ill.
"The fact that he could have life-changing injuries and the fact that we could have lost him for a senseless, pointless attack is horrendous and unimaginable.
"We just hope the police catch the cowards who carried out this brutal attack. "
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Mr Lewis get back on his feet.
Police are investigating the attack.
Spokesman Steve Knight said: "Police were called at 9.52pm on Friday, November 23, to a report of an assault outside a property in George Hill Road, Broadstairs.
"Officers attended and a 40-year-old man was taken to hospital with injuries to his head and jaw.
"He is reported to have been assaulted by two men following a confrontation inside a shop, and inquiries to identify them are ongoing including a review of any available CCTV footage."
Anyone with information is urged to call the appeal line on 01843 222289 quoting reference 46/13929/18.
Alternatively call the independent charity Crimestoppers in Kent anonymously on 0800 555111.