Five arrested on suspicion of murder after death of Mildenhall football fan

Five people have been arrested on suspicion of murder after a Suffolk dad was killed in an attack after a football game

Five people have been arrested on suspicion of murder after a Suffolk dad was killed in an attack after a football game - Credit: Essex Police

Five men have been arrested on suspicion of the murder of a Suffolk football fan who died from his injuries suffered at a game.

Simon Dobbin was left with permanent brain damage after being assaulted in Station Approach, Southend, following a Southend United vs Cambridge United match on March 21, 2015.

Mr Dobbin, a Cambridge supporter from Mildenhall, died aged 48 on October 21, 2020

Medical tests showed there was a direct link between his death and the injuries he had suffered.

As a result of those conclusions, Essex Police launched an investigation into his death. 

Simon Dobbin's daughter Emily pictured with her dad, who received devastating injuries in the attack

Simon Dobbin died more than five years after the attack - Credit: Archant

As part of a co-ordinated operation, five men aged 27, 30, 34, 39 and 45 were arrested on Friday morning at addresses across south Essex. 

They are in custody and will be questioned on suspicion of murder.

A number of people are being treated as witnesses and are also being interviewed.

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Detective superintendent Stephen Jennings, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, is leading the investigation into Mr Dobbin's death.

He said: “Investigations into Simon’s death showed a direct, causal link to the injuries he sustained in Southend on the day he was attacked in March 2015.

“As a result of those findings, we began treating Simon’s death as a homicide and a new investigation was launched.

Mr Dobbin was watching Cambridge United play at Southend United when he was attacked

Mr Dobbin was watching Cambridge United play at Southend United when he was attacked - Credit: Dobbin family

“As part of that investigation, this morning we have arrested five people on suspicion of murder.

“We are also speaking to a number of people who we are considering as witnesses in order to gather their accounts.

“Simon’s wife, Nicole, and their daughter Emily have been kept updated on our progress every step of the way.

“Simon was a completely innocent party in the disorder that took place that day and his family have been through an unimaginable time.

“The injuries Simon sustained that day did not just change his life, they also changed the lives of Nicole and Emily.

"As a team, we will do everything we possibly can to secure justice for Nicole, Emily and Simon’s wider family and friends.”

In total, 13 people were convicted and sentenced in connection with the incident in March 2015.

Timeline of events

March 21, 2015: Simon Dobbin is attacked by fans in Station Approach, Southend, after watching Southend United vs Cambridge United

July 25, 2016: Thirteen men are charged in connection with the attack

July 12, 2017: Twelve men jailed for total of 42 years and four months for their parts in the incident

August 8, 2017: Mr Dobbin's wife Nicole writes to Prime Minister Theresa May in protest of lengths of attackers' sentences

January 17, 2019: Mr Dobbin features on DIY SOS as show renovates his home for an episode 

September 2019: More than 25,000 people sign petition calling for 'Simon's Law' for violent offenders to pay towards the cost of care for their victims

October 21, 2020: Mr Dobbin dies at home, aged 48

August 25, 2021: Post-mortem examination says Mr Dobbin's death was linked to 2015 attack

November 2021: Police offer £20,000 reward for information related to Mr Dobbin's death as family plea for help

June 10, 2022: Five men arrested on suspicion of Mr Dobbin's murder

Essex Police made arrests across the south of the county on Friday morning

Essex Police made arrests across the south of the county on Friday morning - Credit: Essex Police