Police officer critical after pub attack

A police officer is fighting for his life after being bad beaten as he came to the rescue of another victim outside a Norwich pub on New Year's Eve. The 31-year-old officer, who has not been named, works in the Norwich area but was off-duty at the time.

A police officer is fighting for his life after being badly beaten as he came to the rescue of another victim outside a Norwich pub on New Year's Eve.

The 31-year-old officer, who has not been named, works in the Norwich area but was off-duty at the time. He was in critical condition at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital as the result of serious head injures. Norfolk police say his condition is now "serious but stable".

Police believe that some time after 11pm an altercation involving several individuals started inside the Rivergarden pub, in Yarmouth Road, near to the toilets. A young man was punched in the head numerous times near to a fruit machine. Door supervisors intervened and a number of people were then removed from the premises.

The man who had been assaulted left the pub with his girlfriend and was then attacked again in the car park, being punched and kicked numerous times.

It is believed that the police officer went outside to check on the first victim. Just before midnight he was found unconscious in the car park near to the Rivergarden pub sign. He had been badly beaten around the head and face.

The first victim was treated at the scene by paramedics for cuts and bruises but did not attend hospital.

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Det Sgt Gary Bloomfield said: “We know there was a large number of people both inside the pub on New Year's Eve and outside in the car park after the initial altercation happened.

“Someone has been very seriously injured as a result of this vicious incident and it is of the utmost importance that we trace as many witnesses as possible.

“I am conscious that a number of people were at the scene and passing by who may have important eye witness information and we need to trace these individuals.

”If you saw what happened please come forward and if you know who was responsible for this hand them in now.”

Police have issued the following descriptions of five men they want to trace and identify:

t A white man, between 26 and 27 years old, about 6ft tall and of medium build with short gelled spiky blond hair. He was wearing a light blue/green tank top and a long-sleeved white shirt.

t A white man, in his late 20s, of medium build and about 6ft tall with short mousey brown/blond hair. He was wearing a green and light blue horizontally striped jumper.

t A man of mixed race, in his late 20s, of medium build, about 5ft 10ins tall with short clipped black hair.

t A black man in his late 30s to early 40s, of medium to stocky build and about 6ft tall with short black hair. He was wearing a black suit and an open necked shirt.

t A white man, in his early 20s, about 6ft tall, of slim build with blond highlighted short hair. He was initially wearing a black top which was subsequently ripped off his body and he therefore left the premises bare-chested.

Det Sgt Bloomfield said he particularly wants to hear from anyone who was either inside or outside the pub on New Year's Eve and has not yet spoken to police is asked to come forward. Police are particularly keen to speak to anyone who witnessed any person being assaulted or anyone displaying aggressive or threatening behaviour but officers are still keen to speak to anyone who was on the premises during the evening.

Anyone who may have been injured as a result of being assaulted at the premises and has not yet reported it, is urged to come forward as is anyone who may have captured any photographic images on mobile phones or cameras at the scene.

Four men have been arrested in connection with this incident and are currently being detained for questioning. They are a 26-year-old man, an 18-year-old man, a 20-year-old man and a 23-year-old man.

t Contact Det Sgt Bloomfield or Det Con Alice Watts at Norwich CID on 0845 4564567 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.