Grandad savagely beaten by thugs

Peter Murphy after the attack
Peter Murphy after the attack

Police are hunting two vicious thugs who unleashed a brutal assault on a Wigan grandad.

Peter Murphy was walking on the William Foster playing fields in Ince when he was set upon by the yobs, whose attack on Friday meant he lost a third of his body’s blood supply.

Peter Murphy's injured lip

Peter Murphy's injured lip

The 59-year-old, who has recently suffered a heart attack, was close to Ince railway station when he was approached by the two men, who are said to be in their early 20s. They asked him for the time and when he said he didn’t know, he was punched by one of the assailants before they demanded cash.

Courageous Peter, who is the secretary of Wigan St Pat’s rugby club, stood his ground though and refused, meaning the pair fled empty-handed towards the Leeds-Liverpool canal. But they had already broken their victim’s nose and caused severe lacerations to his lip and left nostril.

Peter remained in hospital for a fourth day yesterday although it is hoped that he will be fit to return to his Poolstock home soon.

His wife Ann said: “It was horrific, the mess they left him in, they could have killed him. He lost a life-threatening amount of blood. If he had been knocked unconscious, you don’t know what could have happened. He was walking towards Ince station at around midday when two lads, one with dark hair and one with blond hair, jumped out of the bushes and asked what the time was.

The top of his lip was also hanging off too. It was horrible

Peter’s wife Ann

“Peter didn’t want to get his phone out of his pocket so told them he hadn’t got it.

“Then, the one with blond hair punched him on the left side of his face. He must have been wearing a ring or something with the damage that was done. He’s got a broken nose and there was internal damage to his left nostril where he got hit. The top of his lip was also hanging off too. It was horrible.”

The two thugs told Peter to hand over money and he wouldn’t get hurt. He rejected their offer and the two bolted off, with one reportedly saying “we got the wrong guy”.

Peter phoned Ann to come and pick him up and she was shocked at her husband’s injuries.

She added: “He managed to climb the steps. His face was just a total mess, it was horrible. All the ambulances were busy so I took him straight to the hospital in the car. He had to stand outside when we got there because he was just bleeding so much. He got taken straight in though but they had no beds so he had to be seen to in the resuscitation room.”

After several hours Peter was discharged but it wasn’t long before he was back again after he stated bleeding again when he got home. He’s remained at Wigan Infirmary since as police opened their investigations.

A GMP spokesman said: “Police are appealing for information after a 59-year-old man was seriously assaulted in Wigan.

“At around 12pm on Friday July 15 a man was walking along the main path on William Fosters Playing Field, Higher Ince when he was approached by two men.

“One of the men asked the victim ‘Have you got the time?’ to which he replied ‘No sorry’.

“The man then punched the victim to the face and demanded money from him before running towards the canal.

“The victim suffered a broken nose and other facial injuries.

“The men are both described as white, in their early 20s, around 5ft 11ins tall and of medium builds. One of the men has short blonde hair, spoke with a Wigan accent and was wearing a dark coloured long sleeved top.

“The other man has medium length slicked back black hair and also spoke with a Wigan accent. He was wearing a black leather jacket and dark coloured jeans.”

Police Constable David Bellis of GMP’s Wigan borough, added: “This is a horrifying, unprovoked attack on a member of the public who was simply walking through the fields, going about his business.

“I’m appealing to anyone who has information about the attack or knows the men fitting the descriptions to get in touch.”

Anyone with information should contact police on 0161 856 7124 quoting 925 of 15/07/16 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.