Eyewitnesses tell of dramatic roadside resuscitation of assault victim

The Prince of Denmark pub on Sprowston Road, Norwich cordoned off after a serious assault. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY The Prince of Denmark pub on Sprowston Road, Norwich cordoned off after a serious assault. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Wednesday, May 14, 2014
1:20 PM

Eyewitnesses have told how the victim of a serious assault was resuscitated at the side of the road by a passer-by and an A&E doctor cycling home from his shift at the hospital.

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Sam Bensley who witnessed the aftermath of the assault outside the Prince of Denmark pub on Sprowston road. Norwich. Photo: Steve AdamsSam Bensley who witnessed the aftermath of the assault outside the Prince of Denmark pub on Sprowston road. Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

The injured man, in his 50s and from Norwich, was found outside the Prince of Denmark pub, in Sprowston Road, with a serious head injury at 10.50pm on Monday night. He is currently being treated at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, where his condition is described as serious but stable.

Eyewitnesses who arrived on the scene moments after the assault have told how the doctor and passer-by helped to save the victim’s life.

Lisa Hamilton, physiotherapist for Wroxham Football Club’s under-18s side, was giving The Yachtsmen’s assistant first team manager, Sam Bensley, a lift back to his home in Sprowston Road following an under-18s match on Monday night.

She said: “As we were driving along we saw this guy lying in the road, with another man leaning over him. I said to Sam that it looked really bad and we should get out and see if we can help because we both know first aid.

“This man was starting CPR and there was no response or anything.”

The pair asked the passer-by, who had been driving a Peugeout, if he needed help, but at that moment a doctor cycling home from his shift in the emergency department also happened to be passing and was able to offer his professional medical assistance.

Mr Bensley, who helps to run Wroxham’s academy squad, said the victim was lying with his legs and lower back on the pavement and his head on the road.

He said: “Under his head was a pool of blood, possibly where he had fallen and hit his head hard on the road.”

The 25-year-old added: “Thankfully another guy came by on a bike who had just come off his shift at the hospital in the emergency department.

“The man wasn’t breathing. There was no response from his pupils at all.

“The guy was giving him CPR and eventually he coughed like they do on the telly as if he had started breathing again.

“They continued looking after him and monitoring his vital signs until the paramedics came.”

Miss Hamilton, 41, who lives just off Colman Road, said: “If it hadn’t been for them I don’t think he would have made it. They saved his life.

“It was frightening.

“We were just trying to stop the traffic from hitting him and keeping cars out of the way.”

Dr Chris Christou, a doctor in the NNUH Accident and Emergency Department, said: “I was cycling home on the way back from work at the hospital and I saw that there was someone giving CPR to someone on the ground. I stopped straightaway and ran over and helped with CPR and giving support until the ambulance arrived. Anyone would have done the same, this was a real team effort.”

A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service said they were called at 10.48pm and were on the scene in one minute and 55 seconds. An ambulance, response vehicle and a community first responder were all mobilised and the man was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital before being transferred to Addenbrooke’s.

Two men, arrested in connection with the incident, have been released on police bail.

The men, aged 39 and 26, both from the Norwich area, were arrested on suspicion of assault causing grievous bodily harm, with both to answer their bail at Wymondham Police Investigation Centre on June 11.

Police have launched an investigation into the assault and any witnesses are asked to contact Bethel Street CID on 101.

Have you got a crime story? Email crime correspondent Peter Walsh on peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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