Mum's plea to those who saw attack

A MOTHER whose son was seriously injured in a vicious street attack today pleaded for witnesses to come forward. Jane Gemmill, whose son Ned suffered severe head injuries on the eve of his 21st birthday, is concerned a wall of silence has hindered police inquiries into the crime.

A MOTHER whose son was seriously injured in a vicious street attack today pleaded for witnesses to come forward.

Jane Gemmill, whose son Ned suffered severe head injuries on the eve of his 21st birthday, is concerned a wall of silence has hindered police inquiries into the crime.

On Thursday Daniel Taylor, 18, and Johnny Callie, 19, both of Downside Close, Ipswich, were found guilty of violent disorder at Ipswich Crown Court. The pair could face prison when they returned to the court for sentencing at a later date.

Now the Gemmill family hope the publicity surrounding the case and the pictures of Ned's injuries will encourage people to come forward to tell police exactly what happened on June 27 last year.

Ned spent more than a month-and-a-half in hospital after he was attacked by a group of people while out celebrating his 21st birthday with friends. During his stay in hospital he was unconscious for eight days.

He endured a six-hour operation to remove a blood clot from his head, but has since amazed doctors with his recovery.

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Mrs Gemmill said: "I think it's very sad people go about behaving like this and think it's acceptable.

"It doesn't seem quite right when there's a group of friends who all know who did what but won't give evidence.

"It's not like we've got an axe to grind with the group, but if people go about doing this there should be a way of sorting it out somehow."

Mrs Gemmill said she hopes potentially key witnesses decide to come forward.

She said: "It's not very nice to think someone who could do a thing like this is still walking around thinking they've got away with it.

"In an ideal world other people would come forward and identify the others."

Mrs Gemmill fears the current legal situation means other crimes such as the one committed against her son could also go unpunished.

She said: "If people go beyond the line I think they deserve to be punished. I don't think punching is beyond the line but kicking someone while they're on the ground is.

"If it continues to be difficult to get evidence in these cases it will continue to happen to other people.

"Ned pulled through, luckily, but who's to say it won't happen again to someone else?"

During Taylor and Callie's trial the court heard Mr Gemmill and his friends were set upon as they walked along Princes Street in Ipswich after leaving Zest nightclub. He was knocked to the ground and kicked and stamped on by a number of people.

He was taken to hospital with serious head injuries and later underwent surgery to remove part of his brain.

Callie and Taylor had also denied causing grievous bodily harm with intent, with others and earlier this week, Judge David Goodin ruled there was no case to answer on that charge.

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call Suffolk police on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

What do you think of this case? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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