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Family of Sunderland assault victim issue appeal as investigation continues

Peter (Pip) Innes

The family of a man who suffered life-changing injuries following a vicious assault have urged for witnesses to come forward and assist police.

Officers were called to Tel El Kebir Road in Sunderland at about 8.55am on June 29 after a report that a man was lying unconscious in the street.

Emergency services attended and found 47-year-old Peter Innes, known locally as ‘Pip’, with serious head injuries. He was put in an induced coma and remains in a critical but stable condition in hospital.

A number of people have been spoken to in connection with the ongoing investigation as detectives look to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Now, two weeks on from the attack, Peter’s aunt, Beverley Swales, has asked the community to “do the right thing” and help police with their enquiries as the family continue to support him by his bed-side.

“Peter didn’t deserve this – nobody does,” Beverley said. “We are all praying that he pulls through, but fear he will have life-long injuries as a result of the attack.

“We are absolutely heartbroken to see him like this, and the last two weeks have been something from a nightmare. It’s had a massive impact on the family, and we feel so helpless seeing him lying there in a hospital bed.

“It’s hard to put into words. Peter may have had a chequered past, but the level of violence shown against him is horrifying – he may never recover from this.

“We are just desperate to see Peter well again, and would ask anybody who witnessed what happened to him, or have any information that can help with the investigation, to do the right thing and contact police.”

Detective Constable Kelly Scott, of Northumbria Police’s Southern CID, says a team of experienced officers are investigating the incident and enquiries are ongoing to trace those involved.

“This was clearly a very serious assault that may lead to life-long consequences for Peter,” Det Con Scott said.

“We have already spoken to a number of people in connection with the incident, with eight arrests made in the early stages of our enquiries.

“A team of detectives continue to determine a chronology of events, and we are actively pursuing those responsible.

“This type of criminality is totally unacceptable, and we will continue to offer the family any support they require as they come to terms with what has happened.”

A number of people were arrested by police shortly after the incident and brought into custody to assist officers with their enquiries.

Three men – aged 27, 24 and 29 – remain under investigation, while a 44-year-old women has been released on police bail.

Anyone with information about the incident, who are yet to come forward, are asked to contact police on 101 quoting reference 312 290619 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Alternatively, you can contact the officer in charge of the case by emailing [email protected].

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