Wife of man left for dead by hooligans tells PM to increase low sentences

Simon Dobbin, pictured with his daughter Emily and wife Nicole.

Simon Dobbin, pictured with his daughter Emily and wife Nicole. - Credit: Archant

The maximum prison term for violent disorder must be increased in order to save lives, according to the wife of a Suffolk man left “trapped” in his body after a horrific attack by “mindless” football hooligans.

Simon Dobbin pictured with his wife Nicole outside Basildon Crown Court after 12 men were sentenced

Simon Dobbin pictured with his wife Nicole outside Basildon Crown Court after 12 men were sentenced for the attack which left him permanently brain damaged. Picture: BBC - Credit: Archant

Nicole Dobbin, wife of Simon Dobbin, from Mildenhall, has written an open letter to Prime Minister Theresa May, the Attorney General, Matt Hancock MP and others to demand the five year maximum is raised.

The campaign comes after 12 people received a combined 42 years in jail for their part in the attack. A 13th man was spared jail.

Mrs Dobbin has also launched a petition. She hopes the prospect of a “real punishment” would help save lives and deter people from taking part in violent public brawls.

Simon Dobbin with his wife, Nicole, before the attack

Simon Dobbin with his wife, Nicole, before the attack - Credit: Archant

Cambridge United fan Mr Dobbin, who served in the RAF for nearly ten years, was the completely innocent victim of a violent attack by around 25 Southend Football Club fans in 2015.


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He was left clinically dead after taking a violent beating in the brawl, with Mrs Dobbin saying the family, including daughter Emily, 18, have been given their own “life sentence”.

In her letter she writes: “The justice system in our country has completely and utterly let us down. I hope that by sending out this letter, the sentencing around a violent public disorder can be reviewed and changed, so that no other family will ever have to suffer as we have had too. I feel that by increasing the sentence this will deter others from joining in such a ferocious attack.

Offenders in the Simon Dobbin attack. Top, from left Alexander Woods, Greg Allen, Ian Young, James W

Offenders in the Simon Dobbin attack. Top, from left Alexander Woods, Greg Allen, Ian Young, James Woods, Jamie Chambers, Lewis Courtnell, Matthew Petchey. Bottom from left, Michael Shawyer, Philip McGill, Rhys Pullen, Ryan Carter, Scott Nicholls and Thomas Randell. Picture: ESSEX POLICE - Credit: PA

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“My husband was brutally attacked and left for dead after some mindless thugs ambushed him and a small number of Cambridge united supporters.

“This was a planned and unprovoked 90 second attack, where Simon was stomped and kicked on repeatedly which left him with permanent brain damage and clinically dead for seven minutes.

“If you leave a pub intending to cause harm to another, and someone is beaten to an inch of their life then you should all stand trial for attempted murder, or grievous bodily harm, this law needs to be put into place now.”

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

Simon Dobbin's daughter Emily pictured with her dad who received devastating injuries in the attack in Southend. Picture: DOBBIN FAMILY - Credit: Archant

Speaking to this newspaper, she told of the complete lack of remorse 12 of the 13 defendants showed.

With one man escaping a jail sentence, and getting 250 hours of community service, she said: “He should do those 250 hours caring for Simon and seeing what we have to go through every day.”

She also called for the sentence of defendant Rhys Pullen, who was the only one to plead guilty, to be completely suspended as he showed “true remorse”.

Visit www.ipetitions.com/petition/change-in-the-sentence-for-a-violent-public/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=button#comments to sign the petition.

The letter was addressed to the Attorney General Jeremy Wright, West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock, the Prime Minister Theresa May, the Lord Speaker Lord Fowler and the leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom.

The Attorney General’s office responded to confirm they have received the letter, stating that they will be checking with the Unduly Lenient Sentencing (ULS) scheme to see if the sentences can be or are being reviewed.

The spokeswoman said they had sympathy with Mrs Dobbin’s “awful” situation and that they will respond to her letter to update her and give advice on who else she may want to contact.

The Department of Justice, who did not receive the letter but is responsible for the criminal justice system, declined to comment. No response has been received from Matt Hancock MP.

Mrs Dobbin hopes public pressure will force the Government into action.

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