"Why have they done this?" - Attack victim's family make heartfelt plea for witnesses (From York Press)
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Family of attack victim Tony Lansbury make heartfelt plea for witnesses
FAMILY and friends of a York man who sustained life-threatening injuries in an unprovoked street attack have urged anyone with information about the assault to come forward.
Anthony Lansbury, known as Tony to his friends, was found with a serious head injury in Melrosegate at 1am yesterday and was last night fighting for his life in intensive care.
Kim Farrar, Mr Lansbury’s sister, said she and her brothers had been at his hospital bedside yesterday.
This morning, police said an 18-year-old man had been arrested in the early hours of today.
Mrs Farrar said: “He wouldn’t hurt a soul, he’s so well liked he wouldn’t hurt anybody.
“I’m very angry, because he was only walking home and going for supper. Why have they done it to him? This guy must know he didn’t get up, why has he hit him? I just hope they find him. I want whoever’s out there who knows who has done this to my brother to come forward because he might not be here tomorrow. I need to know who has done this to Anthony.”
Mrs Farrar’s husband Mark said surgeons at Hull Royal Infirmary had removed part of Mr Lansbury’s skull to relieve the build up of pressure and clotting blood on his brain.
Mr Farrar said: “They say if he comes round and wakes up, there’s almost a guarantee he will have some sort of problem with his speech or movement, but they don’t know for sure.
“It’s not clear because he’s in a coma and they are going to do a scan to see if more work can be done. They said that the next 24 hours are critical.”
Mr Lansbury, 51, was attacked in Melrosegate between the Tang Hall Working Men’s Club and Freshways. He is believed to have been punched, before hitting his head on the road as he fell. Paramedics were called, and hospital staff notified police at 6am.
Abdul Hafeez, manager of Freshways, was in his office above the store when he heard noises outside and went to help, finding the man, who is believed to work locally, bleeding on the ground.
He said: “I was here last night to do paperwork upstairs, listening to music. After some time, I heard someone shouting ‘is he dead?’.
“I came down and asked his name. He wasn’t conscious at that time and wasn’t able to answer, but he was trying to move his arms. Three girls were standing and one of them was on the phone with the emergency services.”
Sandra Burns, who works at the Tang Hall Working Men’s Club, said Mr Lansbury had taken part in a number of charity events with the club for local causes. She said “There’s not a bad bone in him, he loves everyone to bits”, and added: “I just can’t understand why anyone would want to hit him”.
She said: “He’s a local lad, does favours for everyone. He’ll run to the bookies or fish shop for older people who come in the club and I just can’t understand, why him?”
“It’s just so, so sad. We just hope it all goes well for him. I just can’t understand anybody wanting to do that to him.”
A police spokesman said investigators were not linking the attack to any others at this time, and said the assault was “believed to be an unprovoked attack”.
Detective Inspector Alan Rowan, of York CID, said investigators were particularly keen to trace three women they believe witnessed the assault, but urged anyone who was in the area between midnight and 1.15am on Thursday to contact police immediately.
Anyone with information is urged to phone police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.