'˜Who did this to Joe?' Family appeal after man left fighting for his life following attack in Northampton

A 27-year-old man has been left fighting for his life after he was knocked unconscious during a violent attack in Northampton town centre.

Thursday, 10th March 2016, 3:53 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th March 2016, 4:36 pm

Joe McFarland was knocked unconscious in Northampton town centre in the early hours of Saturday.

A number of people rushed to Mr McFarland’s aid and an ambulance was called to the scene.

Paramedics were forced to resuscitate him at the scene and he was rushed to Northampton General Hospital.

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Mr McFarland, who has a six-year-old daughter and lives in Wellingborough, was later moved to Universities Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire to be given specialist treatment for his significant head injuries.

Lorraine Wallis, a family friend, said he had not regained consciousness since the attack and his family was desperately searching for answers as to what happened to him.

She said: “Joe had to have part of his skull removed to release the pressure on his brain and he is on life support as he can’t breathe on his own.”

Mrs Wallis has appealed on Facebook for any witnesses to the attack to come forward to help bring the offender to justice.

She said: “If anyone knows anything about what happened in the early hours of Saturday morning just get in touch. The family need some answers and to find out who is responsible for what has happened to him.”

Mrs Wallis said Mr McFarland, a former Tresham College student, was particularly vulnerable as he has a tube fitted from his stomach to his brain which was installed when he was baby to drain fluid from his brain.

She said: “He is always careful and does not get into fights. He knows that a kick or a punch in the head could cause serious damage.”

Serena Diggens-Wallis, the mother of Mr McFarland’s child, said it was believed that he was involved in a altercation with three men near The Old Bank and Mr McFarland acted as a peacemaker to calm the situation down.

This afternoon, Northamptonshire Police issued an appeal for witnesses to the incident.

A spokesman said: “The incident took place at about 3am and involved two groups of three people and resulted in various members of each group falling to the floor.

“A car arrived at the scene while the incident was taking place and one of the groups got in and the car made off.

“That group of people, including the motorist, consisted of two men and two women. One of the men from this group later became unwell and was taken to hospital with a serious head injury, where he remains,” he added.

“The second group included three white men, one with a bald head and beard, possibly wearing a blue top and one wearing a light-coloured jacket.”

Detectives investigating the incident would like to speak to anyone who may have witnessed this incident or who may have any information regarding it.

Witnesses or anyone with information regarding this incident can contact police or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Alternatively, you can use the online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story included a witness description to a separate incident which happened at a similar time on the same night. Although published in good faith, it was incorrect to link the two incidents. We apologise for any confusion and are happy to clarify the situation. Also after a request from Northamptonshire Police, we have also agreed to remove the photographs of the victim which had been supplied to us and used with the original story.