Chesterfield man left with brain injury after being assaulted and then run over speaks out after attacker is jailed

Dan suffered a traumatic brain injury in the attack
Dan suffered a traumatic brain injury in the attack

A Chesterfield man left with a brain injury after being assaulted and then run over in the town centre has spoken out after his attacker was jailed.

Dan Cook suffered a number of injuries including a bleed on the brain, a fractured cheekbone and blood clots on his lungs during the assault which happened in Chesterfield town centre.

He has been left with short-term memory loss

He has been left with short-term memory loss

The 27-year-old was on a leaving night out ahead of starting a job as a carer when he was punched in the face by a man with a knuckle duster. As Dan tried to seek help, the same man then knocked him down in a Volkswagen Golf before fleeing the scene.

The father-of-two, who still suffers memory and anxiety problems following the incident in September 2016, instructed expert serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help him access the specialist care and therapies he requires to overcome his injuries.

Dan, had just completed his last shift as a waiter at a local fish and chip restaurant ahead of his new job and was out with work colleagues when the incident happened on 4 September, 2016.

He was on Holywell Street, when he was approached by a man, unknown to Dan, armed with a knuckle duster who punched him in the face. Despite being injured Dan managed to get up off the ground.

He was walking towards Association Bar in Corporation Street to get help when the same man, who was then driving a Volkswagen Golf, hit him.

The driver fled the scene. The Golf was found burnt out by police.

Dan suffered a traumatic brain injury as well as serious cuts to his arms and legs, severe bruising and significant damage to his teeth. He was taken to Chesterfield Royal Hospital before being immediately transferred to the Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham due to the severity of his injuries.

His injuries meant he was unable to start his new job as a carer. Dan has returned to work at the local fish and chip restaurant but now works reduced hours, predominantly at the back of house because the impact of his brain injury means he struggles to cope with the demands of being front of house.

Dan said: “What was just a night out ended with my life being changed because of the actions of the driver.

“The last two years have been really difficult. Before the incident I was outgoing but now I’m more anxious and suspicious that something is going to happen.

“I get frustrated that I can’t do many of the things I used to take for granted such as going out for the day with my daughter and treating her to the nice things in life.

“I know I have challenges ahead. But the sentencing hearing is a major milestone in helping me with my recovery. I am glad that the driver recognised the seriousness of what happened. I now want to look to the future and concentrate on my recovery.”

Russell Lomax, 28 from Newbold in Chesterfield, had previously pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent, actual bodily harm, dangerous driving, possession of an offensive weapon and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

He was jailed for six years after appearing at Derby Crown Court on Friday.

He was also banned from driving for five years and must sit an extended re-test.

Claire Pilsworth serious injury expert at Irwin Mitchell, said after the hearing: “While many people with a brain injury may no longer show any physical signs after their initial recovery the effects can last for many years.

“The actions of the driver have had a profound effect on Dan’s life over the last two years. He has made great progress in trying to overcome the injuries he suffered, however, Dan still faces many challenges, including short-term memory loss and being able to process information.

“We will continue to support Dan to help him maximise his recovery and implement the important rehabilitation he requires to help Dan in overcoming his ongoing difficulties as a result of his injuries.”