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‘Daddy wasn’t daddy’ - man with brain injuries didn’t see children for six months after attack by ex-soldier

PUBLISHED: 06:30 24 June 2020 | UPDATED: 18:52 24 June 2020

Mark Bowgen, from Taverham, with one his six children. Picture: Mark Bowgen

Mark Bowgen, from Taverham, with one his six children. Picture: Mark Bowgen

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A man who suffered brain injuries after being attacked by a former soldier did not see his children for six months because “daddy wasn’t daddy anymore”.

Mark Bowgen with his partner. Picture: Mark BowgenMark Bowgen with his partner. Picture: Mark Bowgen

Mark Bowgen, from Taverham, was hospitalised for six days following an attack on Queen Street in Norwich on August 12, 2018.

Former soldier Jokini Sivo, 33, of Ron Hill Road in Norwich, this week pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm on Mr Bowgen.

At Norwich Crown Court on Monday, Sivo, who was described as “out of control”, was sentenced to 21 months in prison.

Mr Bowgen, a self employed pest controller, said the attack was “horrendous” and “completely ruined my life”.

Mark Bowgen with one of his sons. Picture: Mark BowgenMark Bowgen with one of his sons. Picture: Mark Bowgen

Following the attack, Mr Bowgen said he did not see his three youngest children for six months because he did not want them to “see me in the state I was in”.

Mr Bowgen said: “I couldn’t speak for months or talk properly and I did not want my children to see me in this state as daddy wasn’t daddy anymore.

“My personalty has changed. I was a totally care free person who did not worry about anything at all.”

The 51-year-old said he was afraid to leave the house for months and, once he began going to the shop, he avoided people.

Mark Bowgen suffered brain injuries after an attack in Norwich. Pictures: Mark BowgenMark Bowgen suffered brain injuries after an attack in Norwich. Pictures: Mark Bowgen

He said: “The shop is only just around the corner but every time I saw someone I would duck my head.”

Mr Bowgen said he has no memory of the night and has continued to suffer from memory loss.

He added: “The first few months of recovery were a nightmare because I just couldn’t find the words to express myself. I still have problems with it and it drives me mad. I’ll go upstairs for a charger and come down a few minutes later with different socks on as I’ll have forgotten what I was looking for.

“I have a white board in the kitchen to jot stuff down on so I don’t forget.

“I can’t remember anything at all of the night, just walking down to the bar then waking up in hospital. Even in hospital I can only remember my daughter and then sleeping and eating.

“The court case was really important to me as I needed to know what had happened. I just had no idea.”

“I’m now getting on with my life thanks to the NHS and my loved ones but I’ll never be the same person.”


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