Eight more men have been arrested in connection with a brutal attack in Southend which left a Mildenhall father-of-three with brain damage.
Simon Dobbin, 42, and a small group of fellow Cambridge United supporters were assaulted in East Street by a gang who came out of the nearby Railway Tavern.
Mr Dobbin suffered a head injury, damaged hips and broken ribs and was knocked unconscious in the incident, which happened at around 7.15pm on Saturday, March 21.
He was transferred to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge and was placed in a medically induced coma. He is now conscious but remains in hospital in a serious but stable condition.
This morning (Thursday) police arrested eight men on suspicion of assault and violent disorder as part of their continued investigations into the attack, bringing the total number of arrests made to 17.
The latest arrests included a 23-year-old man from Rochford, a 23-year-old man from Lewisham, a 27-year-old man and a 30-year-old man from Westcliff, a 19-year-old man from Basildon, a 29-year-old man from Leigh, a 19-year-old man from Wickford and a 22-year-old man from Southend. They currently all remain in custody.
A further man a 39-year-old from Southend was arrested on Thursday June 25, and questioned and bailed.
All of those previously arrested remain on police bail, pending further enquiries.
DCI Martin Pasmore, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, who is leading the investigation, said: “Our investigation is progressing and it will take time to piece together the actions of all those involved but my team and I are determined to bring those responsible for this sickening attack to justice.
“I want to make it clear that Mr Dobbin was an entirely innocent person enjoying a day out watching a football match. He was not involved in any earlier quarrels or incidents and it could have been anyone’s loved one attacked on the day and now looking at the possibility of having to live with a permanent brain injury.
“I ask that those who know what happened do the right thing and make contact either directly or in confidence through Crimestoppers.”
Witnesses or anyone with information are asked to call the Harlow Major Investigation Room on 01279 621802 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.