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Camden New Journal - By PAUL KIELTHY
Published: 3 January 2008

CCTV studied after pursuers leave man with head injuries

DETECTIVES are studying CCTV footage of a street attack which has left a 29-year-old man fighting for his life in hospital.
The West Hampstead man has been on a life-support machine since he was hunted down and assaulted by a gang of five men in a quiet side-street off Finchley Road on the Saturday night before Christmas.
CCTV footage seen by the New Journal records the man’s desperate flight down Lymington Road with his pursuers at his heels in the seconds before he was cornered against a garden fence and punched and kicked into unconsciousness.
It also shows the attackers strolling back up Lymington Road moments later, one of them clapping another on the back, before they turn along Finchley Road in the direction of the O2 centre.
The footage is now in the hands of police, who spent Saturday conducting an “anniversary” visit to the area to interview potential witnesses and investigate how an argument started near Finchley Road and Frognal overground station after the victim had left the adjacent 3one7 pub at about 8.50pm. No arrests have been made so far.
Camden CID officer Detective Sergeant Mark Chard said: “The anniversary visit has brought new lines of inquiry to light and we’ll be working on those.
“This was a horrific attack on a young man just before Christmas, and I appeal to anyone with any information, however small or insignificant you may think it is, to contact police.”
The victim’s condition is described as stable but critical, and it is understood he is likely to have suffered brain damage in the attack.
His parents, who are also from West Hampstead, spent Christmas visiting him in hospital.
The attack has touched a nerve among residents around Finchley Road, who feel violence and robbery there are neglected by police drawn instead to Camden Town
Wedgwood Walk resident Alice Deavis, who heard the December 22 attack, said yesterday (Wednesday): “There was shouting, whether it was his or the people who attacked him I don’t know. Then a few minutes later the street was full of police and cordons.
“It is shocking but people here are getting used to this sort of thing. People think there is a problem with the businesses on the Finchley Road but really it is the people who come from other places, Kilburn, Kentish Town, Swiss Cottage, who seem to be the trouble.”
Although residents identified youth gangs as a problem around Lymington Road, police hunting the attackers are seeking men in their 20s.
Police have asked anyone with information to call 020 74041212 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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