Teens guilty of 'sickening' attack on Sussex care worker left brain damaged and unable to speak

A video of Alan Willson shows him struggling to count following the 'sickening and violent' attack on him last year

Three teenagers have been found guilty of attacking a care worker in Sussex, leaving him with life-changing brain injuries.

Two boys aged 14 and 15, who cannot be named for legal reasons, have been found guilty of grievous bodily harm with intent following the assault on Alan Willson.

Harry Furlong, 18, was found guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Mr Willson, 46, suffered life-changing brain injuries when he was attacked in Longcroft Park in Worthing on Easter Sunday in 2021, after confronting three boys over a bullying incident.

Alan Willson was found badly injured in Longcroft Park, Worthing.

The court heard Mr Willson had confronted them after they allegedly pushed over a younger boy in a row about a game of frisbee.

He was found soon after, bleeding heavily. The court heard he spent almost three months in hospital, with his injuries so severe, he will never speak again.

Speaking after the verdict, Alan's wife Annie said: "I feel relieved that it is over, but now we have to find our new normal. We're all distraught."

She added: "We've lost someone who was an amazing person, but even though I saw we've lost him, he's still here, so it is very difficult.

"We don't fall into any category and we just have to find our new normal now."

The jury heard a 999 call where Harry Furlong called the day after the attack and when he was asked by the call handler if he carried out the attack, the teenager said: “Yeah. Allegedly.”

One of the other boys, the 15-year-old, told the court he did not know how the 46-year old suffered his life-changing injuries, telling the jury he felt sick after being told of Mr Willson's condition.

Detective Inspector Chris Rambour said: "This was a sickening and violent assault on an innocent man who had simply stepped in to help a young who was hurt and upset.

"The injuries Alan suffered show this was a sustained and prolonged attack. The people responsible for this clearly intended to cause serious harm with their actions and have not showed any remorse since."

Following the guilty verdicts at Lewes Crown Court, the trio will be sentenced at a later date.