Mike Rydings: Family of Manchester man fatally injured in Benidorm make emotional appeal to find his killer
Mike Rydings suffered shocking injuries after being attacked in the Spanish holiday resort and died in hospital a year later.
The family of a Manchester man who died after sustaining horrific injuries in an assault in Benidorm have made a new and emotional appeal to help find his killer three years on.
Mike Rydings, from Wythenshawe, was attacked in the Spanish holiday resort in June 2018 while he was there to celebrate a friend’s milestone birthday and watch some of the football World Cup.
He was paralysed after hitting the ground and was flown back to Salford Royal Hospital where he died in 2019.
His family have spoken movingly of their grief at their loss and their need for answers and justice for him.
An inquest will be held later this year and police have said they will leave no stone unturned to find out what happened to Mike.
How did Mike suffer such shocking injuries and ultimately lose his life?
Mike was fatally injured when he was involved in an altercation outside a nightclub in Benidorm in the early hours of 23 June 2018 on the Benidorm Square with a man who was part group of five or six men,
He was assaulted in the incident and hit the ground, causing critical injuries.
After spending a month unconscious in a local hospital, Mike was repatriated to Salford Royal Hospital where he spent the remaining year of his life before he died in August 2019.
Enquiries were conducted by Spanish authorities but no-one has ever been brought to justice for Mike’s killing.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said detectives from its Major Incident Team have spoken to around 15 English holidaymakers who were there on the night.
What is happening now?
A file is now being prepared for the coroner, with an inquest into Mike’s death scheduled to take place in April.
GMP has also released images of Mike - who was employed in construction and an avid Manchester United supporter - in an effort to jog the memory of holidaymakers who went to Benidorm in June 2018,
The pictures include one of him wearing a red t-shirt. Police think he may have been wearing this on the night of the attack as it wasn’t included in his return luggage from Spain.
Police are also reminding the public of the man they think may be responsible for the vicious attack that ultimately claimed Mike’s life.
The man suspected of assaulting Mike is described as a white man in his 20s or 30s, with a larger than average build and around 5ft 7ins to 6ft tall. He was possibly wearing camouflage clothing.
Anyone who may have information or remember anything that may resonate from a trip to Benidorm in the summer of 2018 is urged to contact police with any details they may have.
What has Mike’s family said?
As the fresh appeal for information goes out to the public Mike’s family have spoken of their heartache and their ongoing difficulties coming to terms with the appalling chain of events that unfolded in the resort and afterwards.
In a joint statement Mike’s daughter, Hayley Barker, and sister, Nikki Howard, said: “Mike spent 13 months in Salford Royal Hospital on the Critical Care Unit where he was unable to speak or move.
“Only his eyes were his very limited communication via blinking although most of the time his injury was so extreme that very often Mike was completely unaware of where he was, who his family were and more importantly, who he was!
“At the age of 47, a father and a grandfather, his life had changed forever relying on every single medical resource available in order for him to survive, unable to breathe unaided, unable to tell you how he was feeling, unable to even hold your hand. And it happened due to one vicious incident, in an instant, but this nightmare didn’t end there.
“After extensive medical intervention, family daily visits and praying that Mike would recover and be able to live the rest of his life, it was cut short. His condition was never going to improve; his quality of life was so limited that the kindest but incredibly heart-breaking decision was to let him go.
“On Sunday 11 August 2019 Mike took his last breath and passed away at the age of 48-years-old - leaving his family totally devastated and his friends in despair. How could a 50th celebration end in such a tragic way?
“Mike was a father, grandfather, son, brother, nephew, cousin and friend to many. Mike was full of energy, the life and soul of the party; a practical joker, generous to a fault, enjoying all aspects of life and his beloved Manchester United...
“Someone somewhere knows who this person is.
“Were you with him? Is he your friend or partner? All Mike’s family and friends want is some justice for him. The person who did this is continuing to live a full life, but he could repeat this attack on a member of your family and change your life forever!
“We as a family have a huge hole in it which can and never will be filled. Mike has missed out on so much already and will continue to do so which we cannot change. But we can change the fact that he died without justice.
“Please, please let the police know if you have any information at all, no matter how small you think it may be, it takes more than one piece to complete a jigsaw.”
What have the police said?
Detective Inspector Nicola McCulloch, from GMP’s Major Incident Team, said: “Sadly, no one has been brought to justice for Mike’s death ever since he was seriously - and ultimately fatally - assaulted outside a bar in Benidorm in June 2018.
“When we were notified of this incident and Mike’s tragic passing, we committed ourselves to doing everything we can to support the Spanish authorities in piecing together all the circumstances leading to his death and, importantly, to identify his killer.
“While the murder investigation in Spain hasn’t been successful, we continue to be determined to do whatever possible to get the answers Mike’s loved ones crave for his upcoming inquest.
“This has seen us speak to over a dozen men and women who were in Benidorm at the time, many of whom recall a great deal of what occurred on the night despite the passage of time and this encourages us that someone out there knows who did this to Mike and is able to tell us.
“There is a suggestion that the group involved in the altercation were from the UK, but this is not certain and it is therefore vital that anyone who may recall any information as to who may have been involved gets in touch with us knowing it could prove to be highly significant.”
What should anyone with information about the incident do?
Anyone with information should contact GMP’s Major Incident Team on 0161 856 6777, quoting Operation Thurston.
Alternatively, details can be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.