The wife of a man beaten so badly he was left brain damaged says she is a ‘wreck’ after it emerged one of his killers will walk free in weeks.
Alan Willson, 47, spent three weeks in a coma after the savage attack by brothers Archie, 16 and George Tilley, 14, and Harry Furlong, 18, on Easter Sunday last year.
Mr Willson is now permanently brain damaged and cannot talk, meaning he and his wife now rely on hand gestures and body language to communicate.
A former care worker, Mr Willson had sprinted from his home in Worthing, West Sussex, to a nearby park when he heard a group of boys were attacking an 11-year-old.
But when he tried to intervene he was knocked unconscious as the group viciously beat him with a three-foot log, shattering his skull.
Mr Willson suffered lung trauma, broken bones and fractures to his spine and had to have surgery on his brain in Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton.
The brothers each received a 12-year-sentence but Furlong only received 20 months. Due to time already spent on remand, he is now set to be released within the next four weeks, despite only being sentenced in June.
Mr Willson’s wife Annie told ITV: ‘Emotionally I am a wreck. I can’t allow my feelings to be shown because I have children.
‘Our whole life has been turned upside down. Everyone thinks justice has been done. But really coming out after two months, that’s not justice.’
Annie and Alan Willson now have to rely on hand gestures, body language and touch in order to communicate
Harry Furlong, 18, could be released in just four week’s time
Mr Willson was in a coma in hospital for three weeks after having urgent surgery on his brain
A former care worker, Alan sprinted from his home in Worthing, West Sussex, to nearby Longcroft Park when he heard a group of boys were being violent towards an 11-year-old
Despite the brain damage, Alan is still ‘very intelligent’ according to his wife, and certainly seems to have retained his sense of humour
Annie Willson (left) told ITV that when she learnt Furlong was set to be released, she became sick to her stomach
Alan has been home with Annie for around a year, during which time Annie told ITV News he has made huge improvements.
Speaking of learning that Furlong could be release next month, she told ITV: ‘I am sick to my stomach, I went nuts. I have done nothing but fight for a year, and I’m tired.
‘He’s [Alan] just completely trapped.’
Alan now has hearing problems, dental problems, cannot go to the toilet by himself or take care of his personal hygiene.
Due to already serving time in prison while on remand, Furlong (pictured) could be free again in a matter of weeks
The couple are struggling to get benefits or any compensation because Alan cannot even sign his own name.
Archie and George Tilley were jailed for 12 years each after they battered the former carer with a 3ft wooden log in a park following a row over a frisbee.
At their trial, the judge said he was left bloodied, incapacitated and on the ground in the aftermath of the remorseless attack.
Police were called to Whitebeam Road in Worthing at around 19.30pm on April 4, last year after Mr Willson was found injured in the street following the vicious assault in nearby Longcroft Park.
George Tilley was 13 and Archie 14 when they attacked Mr Willson with a force Judge Christine Henson QC described as ‘beyond the comprehension of most people’.
Archie Tilley had two previous convictions for three offences. George had five convictions for 18 offences. He was only ten at the time of his first recorded offence. All the offences were for violence including ABH and battery.
The jury were shown chilling train station CCTV footage of the boys re-enacting their brutal assault on Mr Willson.
The teenagers bragged and joked as Mr Willson was being airlifted to hospital. A girl who saw the boys at the train station described to police how they were ‘bragging’.
In an impact statement at the time, Mrs Willson said: ‘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.
The two brothers (left, Archie, right, George) were each given 12 years in prison by the judge
‘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.
‘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.’