Mother’s plea after teenage son ‘savaged’ at Butlin’s

Thomas Attwater after he was punched at Butlin's. Contributed picture Y3OwG3VZMKwcSkvP8TI3
Thomas Attwater after he was punched at Butlin's. Contributed picture Y3OwG3VZMKwcSkvP8TI3
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A MOTHER has asked people to come forward who might have witnessed a vicious assault on her teenage son.

Thomas Attwater, 18, was punched by a man at Butlin’s, in Bognor Regis, on July 30, with police launching an appeal for witnesses yesterday.

“Seeing your own child savaged like this is utterly heart breaking,” said mother Alison Attwater’s, adding her son, who is from Epsom, in Surrey, had been speaking with two girls shortly before who might have witnessed the attack.

“It is vital we find these young women, who saw the attack. All we know is their names are Amelia and Athena, they are about 16 and from the Reading area, one is red head and one blonde haired,” the 46-year-old said. “I must underline though, they are not in any trouble at all, but they might be valuable witnesses, especially if they are able to help identify who did this to my son.’

Thomas is autistic and the brutal assault left him wondering for two hours through Butlin’s unsure what to do, according to his mother.

‘This unprovoked attack has caused considerable damage to Thomas’s face as well as inside his mouth, leaving multiple cuts and bruises, which required three separate hospital visits,” said Mrs Attwater.

“Given that Thomas is autistic, one of the most alarming aspects of this incident was that my son had no idea how to cope and spent two hours wandering the Butlin’s camp site alone.”

Ms Attwater’s attempts to find out who did this to her son have seen her launch a social media campaign on Twitter and Facebook to try and track down the two girls.

According to police and Mrs Attwater, Thomas was talking to the two girls outside the Beachcomber Pub at Butlin’s around 9pm when he was approached by a man who told him to go away, before punching him in the face.

The family, including Mrs Attwater’s second son Charlie, 19, were using vouchers provided by the charity Family Fund to holiday at Butlin’s.

A Butlin’s spokesman said: “We are deeply concerned that teenager Thomas Attwater was assaulted recently at our Bognor Regis resort during an evening out with his friends. Our inquiries into this incident are on-going and we are liaising closely with local police. We have also spoken to Mrs Attwater and are doing all we can to help and support her and her family.

“On the night itself, a senior member of our team at Bognor intervened as soon as he was made aware of the incident and offered assistance to Thomas. The team member provided an ice pack and then advised Thomas to visit the local hospital for further assessment to his mouth.

“Thomas insisted he didn’t want anyone else involved and refused first aid. At this point, our team member was not aware that 18 year-old Thomas was autistic.

“The resort safety team only became aware of the incident when an ambulance arrived at the resort after being called by the parents of Thomas.

“The family left the next morning without engaging further with any of our team members.”