‘I don’t want my son to die’

COMA: Paul Ingram who was attacked in York Road.
COMA: Paul Ingram who was attacked in York Road.

A MUM keeping a bedside vigil as her son fights for life after a vicious street attack today fought back tears and said: “I don’t want him to die.”

Young dad Paul Ingram, 31, has been in a coma since he was attacked as he made his way home from a night out in Hartlepool in the early hours of Sunday.

Paul had been out with his brother, Gary, 29, on Saturdaynight, but became separated from him and was believed to be making his way home when he was set upon near the junction of York Road and Victoria Road.

Paul, dad to a five-year-old daughter from a previous relationship, is in intensive care with bleeding and bruising to the brain and his condition is described by medics as stable.

His mum Shirley, 53, and 57-year-old dad Alan, have been keeping a bedside vigil at James Cook University Hospital and are struggling to come to terms with what happened to their son.

Shirley, who works as a part-time cleaner, was returning home from a shift on Sunday morning when she saw a police car at the front door of her home in the Jesmond Road area of Hartlepool.

She said: “The police just said Paul had been attacked, and wanted us to go through to the hospital with them.

“On the way there, the police had a call to say he was being transferred from North Tees through to James Cook because his condition was serious, so we were raced straight there.

“The whole thing has been a nightmare and he hasn’t come around since the attack. I cannot describe what it is like for a mother to see her son lying unconscious in a hospital bed, covered in tubes and drips.”

She added: “We don’t him to die.

“The neurologist said the first 48 hours would be critical for Paul, but every time they try to bring him around, the pressure on his brain goes up.

“Gary just keeps saying he wishes he’d not left Paul, but nobody knew this was going to happen.

“From what I can gather, Paul had met a girl and Gary had left them. The girl then went home at about 3am and Paul was making his way home.

“I wouldn’t care, we always say to the lads when they go out to ring us, no matter what time, and we’ll come and get them if they can’t get a taxi.

“But they always say they don’t want to knock us out of bed.”

Paul is a former Manor College of Technology student who works at McDonald’s in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre. Shirley is bemused as to why anyone would want to hurt her son and added: “Paul doesn’t even go out that much, he’s a quiet lad and I cannot understand why this has happened to him.

“The police are doing their best to find out what happened, and I would plead with anyone who knows what happened to get in touch with the police.

“We are beside ourselves with worry. It is scary seeing your son in this state, and we are just hoping he will pull through.”

Shirley and Alan also have a third son, Neil, 32, who lives in a nursing home in Wearside having suffered brain damage when he was born two months prematurely.

A 29-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of assault in connection with the incident and bailed pending further investigation.

Detective Sergeant Jim Allen, from Hartlepool CID, said: “I am appealing for anyone who may have seen anything in relation to this incident or anyone who has any information to get in touch.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Det Sgt Allen on (01642) 302178 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.