THE wife of a man permanently brain-damaged after being hit with a log has spoken of the “life sentence” being imposed on her family.
Annie Willson, 51, described the “torture” her husband Alan endured after the April 4 attack last year that left him unable to speak, write or read.
The 47-year-old’s injuries include blindness in one eye, a shattered orbital bone, a fractured skull, brain injuries, fractured ribs and a shattered jaw after he was repeatedly hit with the 2.7kg log at Longcroft Park, Worthing .
Speaking to The Argus earlier this month, Annie said: “To have Alan not speak at all and not write at all is really sad. It’s torture.
“Our adult social worker told us it was the ultimate form of torture because he knows what he wants to say, he just can’t say it.”
Brothers Archie, 14, and George Tilley, 16, have been sentenced to 12 years in prison for the assault, which left Mr Willson with permanent brain damage.
Harry Furlong, from Horsham, was sentenced to 20 months in prison on June 30 for aggravated assault without intention.
The Argus announced that Furlong, 18, was released from prison on Friday September 16, just 78 days after his curfew conviction. He served a total of 126 days, including pre-trial detention.
Annie said: “We were sentenced to life imprisonment, she wasn’t. When they told me Harry was coming out, my immediate reaction was, ‘Is that all my husband’s previous life was worth?’
“There is no help and no protection for the victims.”
Before the attack, Mr Willson was described as a loving father who would “take over all play” with his children. He is also said to have been an avid snowboarder.
Annie added: “Sussex Police have been great for us but we were the ones who had to move, we had to deal with the thought of what happens if someone knocks on our door.
“The boys were bailed out to Brighton so we couldn’t venture anywhere near the city.
“There aren’t many prospects for Alan, he is who he is now. He cannot speak and struggles to swallow. I worry that one day I’ll wake up and he died next to me.
“If he tilts his head back, he can’t swallow.
“You ruined everything.
“The coroner said she had never seen anyone with a head so badly damaged and alive.”
Prisoners serving a sentence of at least 12 weeks but less than four years may be considered under the curfew before their automatic release date.
Ms Willson said she wanted to “ask Harry Furlong why” while he was still in prison.
Mr and Mrs Willson both worked as carers prior to the attack but she now looks after her husband full time.
She said: “I have nothing now, no family holidays. I try to take him to Costa but he’s getting tired. We used to come here together.
“I think he has his thoughts, he loves music. Absolutely loves it. But it’s just broken and it annoys me that no one in this world can fix it.”
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/22562945.familys-life-sentence-attack-alan-willson-worthing/?ref=rss The family’s life sentence following the attack on Alan Willson in Worthing