Croydon police warn Gary Hayward attackers to 'keep looking over their shoulders'
Police have warned a gang responsible for a vicious attack on a father-of-three in New Addington to "keep looking over their shoulders."
Gary Hayward was attacked on October 2, 2011, while protecting his father John from a group of youths armed with metal poles and baseball bats in Central Parade.
The attack left the 29-year-old blind in one eye, unable to talk and in need of full-time care in a rehabilitation centre.
Although police have been given the names of those the family believe were responsible, no one has been charged during the investigation of attempted murder, which has lasted nearly two years.
It emerged last week police decided to shelve the investigation after receiving no further viable leads that could result in additional arrests.
Croydon police's borough commander Chief Superintendent David Musker said: "During the investigation information has been passed to officers about those suspected of being responsible for the attack.
"This led to four arrests in 2011, however there was insufficient evidence to bring charges against them.
"A 17-year-old male received a conviction for an assault on a family member as the family member made their way to the scene of Gary’s attack.
"The fundamental issue has always been identifying a witness or witnesses present at the scene that would be willing to provide a statement and identify person(s) involved in the attack.
"Subsequent appeals in October 2012 and on BBC’s Crimewatch again led to further information from the public; however there remains insufficient evidence to charge anyone in the case at this time even with the £20,000 reward and the offer of anonymity or special measures at court.
"My officers and I share the deep frustration felt by Gary’s family and friends that no one has been to trial for this brutal attack.
"Cases of this nature are never closed by the Metropolitan Police and remain open and under regular review.
"I am, and I know that Gary’s family are, disappointed that his attackers have not been brought to justice. What I will say to those responsible is that this case is not, and will not be closed.
"I implore the local community to help us. Someone in the area knows who committed this cowardly act.
"I would appeal to those people who know who committed this attack, or who have their suspicions to support Gary and his family by coming forward with information; it is still not too late.
"Croydon police will continue to pursue those responsible for this crime using every ethical means available.
"Gary's attackers need to know that they should keep looking over their shoulder as we will continue to seek justice."
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