Reliving horror of brutal attack

PUBLISHED: 10:43 11 January 2008 | UPDATED: 08:18 02 June 2010

BATTERED: John McCrudden with his injuries shortly after being attacked.

BATTERED: John McCrudden with his injuries shortly after being attacked.

RETIRED cleaner John McCrudden has spoken for the first time of the night he was attacked and left in a Wisbech street with blood pouring from his head. Despite being bruised, battered and bewildered by the attack, the 69-year-old delivered blood-splatter

STORE’S GESTURE: John McCrudden, centre, prepares to spend his Rainbow vouchers, supported by the store’s deputy managers Jamie Twell and Viv Richardson. Picture: BRIAN PURDY

RETIRED cleaner John McCrudden has spoken for the first time of the night he was attacked and left in a Wisbech street with blood pouring from his head.

Despite being bruised, battered and bewildered by the attack, the 69-year-old delivered blood-splattered Christmas cards only minutes afterwards.

Mr McCrudden spoke exclusively to the Standard after being presented with £100 worth of shopping vouchers by Wisbech's Rainbow superstore.

The company had read of the attack and seen Mr McCrudden's horrific injuries, and decided to offer him a belated Christmas present.

Mr McCrudden described the night of the attack - December 17 - when he set off from his Norwich Road home to walk into town to deliver Christmas cards.

"I was taking the short cut from William Road through to Churchill Road when I was attacked," he said.

"I couldn't pick myself up because of my arm (he had a stroke a year ago which left him with limited mobility) and they demanded money. When I said I didn't have any, they started punching and kicking me. The next thing I can remember was seeing them run off."

Mr McCrudden said he was walking past the St John Ambulance Hall in William Road and heading for the Muppet Inn, when he was attacked.

Despite his extensive injuries, he still made it to the pub and gave staff their Christmas cards, despite them being covered in blood.

After staff learned what had happened they called his daughter Angela Diggines, of Osborne Road, Wisbech.

"I was getting ready with my two sons to go to their school's Christmas service at St Peter's Church when my mobile rang," she said.

"Normally, I would have taken my dad to the pub when I get home from work. My sons go to his house after school and, when I pick them up, I drop him off at the pub. But, because I had flu, he walked there instead."

Mr McCrudden was taken to hospital and later discharged, but this week he said he still gets headaches and carries a scar from the attack.

# Two Wisbech teenagers have been charged in connection with the assault. Stefan William Simpson, 19, of Lilac Close, and Christopher James Briston, 19, of Victoria Road, have appeared in court charged with the attempted robbery and wounding with intent.

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