The partner of a Northampton boxing instructor, who was left with life-changing injuries after he was knocked unconscious and kicked in the head, has said that his attacker was gutless.
Thomas Devine attacked popular boxing instructor John Cox when the 64-year-old went to complain about the noise from a flat near his Duston home, leaving him with a severe brain haemorrhage.
Devine, 24, was sentenced to less than three years in jail. But Mr Cox and his partner, Wendy Guyett, who were preparing for a happy retirement together, said they will instead have to endure the ravages of dementia for the rest of their lives together.
Wendy said: “How can you do that to an old person?
“The thing is, he [Devine] gets to walk, but John and I have this for as long as we live.
“He has the rest of his life ahead of him, ours is nothing.
“We don’t have a life, we just exist from day to day.”
Mr Cox, found himself in a fight with Devine after complaining to his neighbour about loud music at 1.20am.
He was pinned to the floor before being ‘stamped, punched and kicked’ while out cold. Wendy was forced to witness the fight from her window and says it made her feel sick.
She said: “The damage was done when he was knocked out, to me that’s gutless. All his injuries were to his head, I thought he had been stabbed. I shouted out the window to leave him alone.”
John, now 67, suffered a brain haemorrhage and doctors later told him his dementia had been brought on by the attack.
He is now cared for full time by Wendy as his brain often goes into a state of fitting.
Prior to the attack, John was an active man.
He was a light heavyweight and the best night of his 18-fight professional career was a points win over Bob Pollard at Hornsey Town Hall in 1976.
As a coach, possibly his biggest success stories were Alex Romeo and Gavin Deacon, who won a regional belt under John’s guidance in 2009.
Later, John worked in security for many years and when Muhammad Ali came to England to be reunited with Henry Cooper in the 1980s, he was 'The Greatest' bodyguard.
Now Northampton’s Mr Boxing can no longer dress himself, is unable to drive and struggles with his co-ordination.
He said: “My life? Forget that. Wendy looks after me. I can’t drive since the attack. If Wendy couldn’t look after me, I wouldn’t do anything. ”
The pair were set to retire six months after the assault and planned to tour Europe.
She said: “The relationship has to adapt. People used to say we were like honeymooners, we are still close but in a different way now.”