Police investigating a shocking attack in Manchester city centre which left a Sikh priest with life-changing injuries have released a new appeal for information and CCTV footage.
The 62-year-old man was subject to a vicious assault on Tib Street in the Northern Quarter in June.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) have now released video footage in the hope it will prompt someone to come forward and help bring the attacker to justice as well as images of two people they believe could help the investigation.
The priest’s family have also released an emotional statement on the enormous consequences the attack has had.
What happened to the Sikh priest and what is happening in the police investigation?
Police officers were called to Tib Street just before 6.30pm on Thursday 23 June after receiving a report from the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) that a man was unconscious in the road.
CCTV enquiries revealed the victim had been assaulted by a man close to the junction with Hilton Street. The offender then fled the scene on foot, turning left onto Oldham Street.
The victim was left unconscious in the middle of the road, before being taken to hospital. He has remained there ever since the attack, in which he sustained life-changing injuries and brain damage.
Police have now released the CCTV footage and also issued two images, one of a man and one of a woman, who they are keen to identify.
What have the police said?
Detective Inspector Mark Astbury, of Longsight CID, said: “We are keen to identify the man and woman pictured in the above attached images, as we believe they may be able to assist us with our investigation.
“We took the decision to release the CCTV footage with the family’s permission, simply to show the severity and mindlessness of this attack and why we need to make sure the offender is found and faces the consequences of his appalling actions.”
What has the victim’s family said?
The victim’s family have prepared a statement which outlines the shocking impact of the attack on them.
The statement read: “On the 23rd of June 2022, our loving and caring husband/father, a 62 year old Sikh priest, had his life tragically altered forever when a thug cowardly committed this heinous act, leaving him in a pool of blood with catastrophic permanent life-changing brain damage and walked away as if it was normal behaviour.
“A devoted husband and father who has lived, worked and supported a community in a city he has loved for 37 years and now cannot even leave the hospital.
“He worked long hours every day to help his children live the life he never got to and make sure we were raised to help and inspire future generations, raising a teacher, a pharmacist and a soon-to-be doctor.
“A Sikh priest was left for dead on the bustling streets of Manchester, a route he has walked home every day, while people watched on. He was mindlessly and violently attacked and the sick, cowardly individuals are still out there.
“We read horrific things in the news but never expect it to happen to one of your own, a man who could not say a single hateful or negative comment, who taught those around him to practice kindness.
“We have lost the life of the party, the light in amongst any darkness in our lives and the laughter and joy he brought home every day, has disappeared and left our hearts vacant. We will sadly never get the man back who left for work that day and thought he would walk home to enjoy the nice weather.
“We appeal to anyone who knows anything or knows the offender to come forward, it is more than two months since the incident, and we are no closer to finding them and bringing them to justice for their actions.
“Our husband/father lives in a hospital bed with life changing injuries not knowing what the future holds.
“Please, please act today not out of hate but to stop this happening again to someone else and tearing another family apart, as we would not wish this anguish on anyone else.”
What should anyone with information do?
Anyone with information, or who may recognise the man or woman pictured in the images, is being asked to contact police on 0161 856 6049 or report it online on the GMP website.
Alternatively, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.