Wife's message to teens who left husband in 'ultimate form of torture'

  • Alan Willson's wife Annie Willson speaking outside Hove Crown Court following sentencing

The wife of a man who was left with life changing injuries after being viciously attacked says her family has been "broken beyond repair" on the day that three teenagers were jailed for a total of more than 25 years for the assault.

Alan Willson suffered face, skull and brain injuries in the attack in a Sussex park on Easter Sunday last year. He will never speak again.

Mr Willson's wife, Annie Willson said her family is serving a life sentence and she feels her life has stopped.

Speaking directly to the group responsible at Hove Crown Court, she said: "I will never forget turning up in that park and seeing what you had done to my Alan. You took away a husband, father grandad, brother, cousin and uncle.

"Alan was the gentlest man who would help anyone at the drop of a hat, no questions asked. You attacked him as a group, and did not stop until he was on the floor, bleeding and unconscious. He was keen snowboarder and football fan and enjoyed his time with his family, meals out and making his children laugh uncontrollably. We brought our children up with good morals. I do believe that before this happened, my son and his friends invited you to play football with them.

"Little did they know what you would end up doing to my Alan.

"Now because of your actions my husband cannot speak, cannot play with his children, cannot work and cannot control his body. He has no mental capacity, no vision in his left eye and has a massive brain injury from which he will never fully recover. He has hearing problems, dental problems, cannot toilet himself or take care of his personal hygiene. He is not the same man.

Annie Willson says the attack on her husband Alan has left the family with a life sentence.

"He is locked in this strange body that he doesn't understand. He will never again be able to enjoy the things he took so much pleasure in. He no longer says silly things to make us laugh.

"He no longer gives us hugs and cuddles that we used to enjoy so much. You have no only subjected him to a life sentence, but also me, our young son and the rest of Alan's family.

"Many, many tears have been shed by me and Alan's family, grieving the loss of a great man. Even though he is hanging on to life he will never lead a normal life again and will always depend on others.

"People say 'at least he is alive' and as my anger bubbles from the pit of my stomach I have to reply, this is no life! I'm sure that Alan, me and our children will be serving a sentence much longer that you!

"He is a fighter, and I will not let you win. We are a strong family and know the difference between right and wrong. You clearly do not! No child is born this way, this is learnt behaviour.

"I hope that when you are missing your family, when you are alone and have time to reflect that tears roll down your faces and you spare a thought for my family. The family you have destroyed.

"On 4th April 2021 you took my soul mate!! You plunged our lives into darkness and changed our family dynamics forever. You took a father a brother an uncle a cousin and a grandad.

"My husband has had all methods of communication taken from him he cannot speak, gesture or write things down. This is the ultimate form of torture!! Trapped forever there is no fix!!

"I take him to use the toilet I sit and watch him like a hawk when eating, else he chokes. He cannot cough, unless it's a reflex cough. He cannot clear his throat, he doesn't know how to.

"My life has stopped. There is no more joy, no more popping out with my daughter for the day shopping, no more parents evenings to go to as my son is too scared to leave the house so he is studying life skills at home - how to look after a disabled dad.

"My son cannot just go to his mates any more for the week as he needs to check all shopping is in as when he leaves the house I am trapped as Alan is to unsteady to go on a shopping trip due to being permanently dizzy which he will be forever due to brain damage and neuro fatigue.

"When I am at home in the quiet as I now suffer from PTSD and anxiety I reflect on my memories of hearing a ridiculously high pitched rendition of Mika in the shower or fix up look sharp by Dizzy Rascal when I used to have the strop always brought to an end by Alan's cheeky smile. Or being made to watch snowboarding videos of Alan again and again.

"BUT you didn't know the man you battered nearly to death, he doesn't give up easily. AND you don't know the power of finding a soul mate and the lengths you will go to, to protect that person.

"Feeding them every two hours during the day by syringe and setting up a feeding rig to be changed at 5AM cleaning and washing a bed ridden loved one. You don't know how it feels to spend a year of your life talking AT someone rather than WITH someone trying desperately to guess what you think they are trying to say and listening to them crying when you get it wrong.

"When you were laughing and being disrespectful in the dock after the jury's verdict my husband was in hospital after having a prolonged seizure that lasted 30 minutes and was temporarily left paralysed down his right side. I should have been with him by his side but instead I came to court so I could tell my son truthfully that he could go out to play again should he wish to, but guess what, he has no desire to go out to play again.

"No sentence that you get will ever be long enough as it is Alan who has the life sentence together with myself and my family."