Vigil for Johnstown man left fighting for life

Reporter:

Garth ApThomas

A WHOLE community has been badly affected by an incident in which a popular man suffered serious injuries at a city centre bar.

Johnstown man David Morton Thomas, 38, suffered a serious head injury in the incident at the Temple Bar in Frodsham Street, Chester, on March 19 and is currently being treated at Walton Hospital in Liverpool, where yesterday his condition was described as critical.

Ian Powell, of Moreton Avenue, Johnstown, has been a friend of Mr Thomas since they were at school together at Ysgol y Grango, Rhos. Describing his boyhood friend, Mr Powell said: “He is a wonderful man, very well liked by so many people, with a great sense of humour who comes up with funny sayings and loves music from bands like The Who, The Jam and Madness.”

Mr Powell has been to visit Mr Thomas in hospital, but found the experience so distressing he was only able to stay briefly.

He said: “I was there for about two minutes before I felt I had to go out. It was very upsetting to see him lying there with so many machines all around. At the moment only family members are able to see him because he has a chest infection. He is getting excellent care at Walton with a nurse constantly by him.”

Talking about how Mr Thomas’s injury has affected the community as a whole, Mr Powell said: “He has friends throughout the area and we are all wishing he gets better. People are always asking if there has been any change in his condition.”
Key witnesses to the incident are being urged to come forward.

Police are renewing their appeal for anyone who may have seen the incident which took place shortly before 11.30pm.

In particular police would like to speak to a man who is believed to have met the victim in The Victoria pub before continuing to the Temple Bar with him.

He is described as a white man, 30 to 40 years old, with a heavy build, dark brown hair and a short goatie-type beard. He was wearing a dark-coloured jacket with a red stripe down the top half of the sleeves and blue jeans.

Cheshire Police spokesman Jason Murray said: “We would appeal for the man, or anyone who thinks they know him to contact DC Richard Deakin at Chester CID on 0845 458 0000, alternatively Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Alan Junior Gilmartin, 30, of Sycamore Drive, Lache, Chester, has appeared at Chester, Ellesmere Port and Neston Magistrates Court charged with causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Thomas.

The case was transferred to Chester Crown Court and a preliminary hearing will take place on April 26. Gilmartin has been remanded in custody.

See full story in the Leader

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