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Crimewatch: Gary Hayward Attempted Murder

April 30, 2013

On the 2 October 2011, Gary Hayward was seriously assaulted in New Addington by a group of around 20 youths. Gary was defending his father and consequently has been left severely brain damaged, blind in one eye and unable to care for himself.

On the day of the attack, Gary’s Mother, Wendy, held a BBQ for family and friends at her home in New Addington, Croydon. Her ex-husband, John, left early and returned to his flat at approximately 18:15.

Later that evening, John went to a shop on Central Parade called Booze Bank to buy some beer. En route, he encountered some youths in the alleyway between the leisure centre and library and was subjected to verbal abuse. After an exchange with them, John was followed to the shop and at around 19:00 he telephoned his ex-wife Wendy to say he was scared about going home by himself. Wendy sent her one son up to the parade in his car to collect John and take him home, which he did. Wendy also contacted her other son Gary Hayward by telephone to tell him what was going on. As Gary was in close proximity he also went to meet his father at his flat. Wendy too made her way to John’s flat in her car with her daughter and her boyfriend.

The family gathered outside John’s flat and Gary spotted some youths nearby that John confirmed may have been involved. With this, Gary went after the group through the alleyway towards the parade. John followed on foot but was not very fast due to a leg injury. The other family members got into their vehicles to drive around and join them.

At the parade, John saw Gary in a confrontation with a group of youths, where Gary was pulled to the ground and kicked. As John approached, the group ran away and Gary, despite John trying to stop him, ran after them towards the leisure centre car park. John followed as he best he could, even more youths had approached armed with pieces of wood. At this point, John saw Gary on the floor being hit around the head and beaten. As he got to the car park, John was also hit and fell to the floor. It’s believed around 20 youths may have been involved in the attack. The other family members did not witness this incident.

The youths ran off prior to police arrival. Gary was found with severe head trauma and John also had head injuries that required hospital treatment.

It was established that John had been the victim of intimidating and anti-social behaviour directed at him by local youths for a number of months leading up to this incident. However, he has not been able to identify the youths involved.

Gary is now in a specialist rehabilitation unit.

Appeal points

  • £20,000 reward to the arrest, charge and prosecution of the person or persons responsible
  • A silver 12 Megapixel Fuji camera was subsequently stolen during the attack – what happened to it?
  • Lots of witnesses who have not yet come forward – police are keen to trace these witnesses and are appealing for them to come forward
  • Need the community to come out and support Gary’s family
  • John had been targeted in the past with intimidating and anti-social behaviour towards him. Do you have any information that links this attack?
  • All information suggests persons responsible are local – do you know of anyone involved?

Contact the programme about this case

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