Page last updated at 13:38 GMT, Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Southampton 'homophobic attack' victim may not recover

Nigel Price
Nigel Price pictured nine months before he was attacked

A man who was beaten up at Southampton Common last November may not fully recover, police say.

Officers believe Nigel Price may have been the victim of a homophobic attack.

The 58-year-old was found with head injuries at 0755 GMT on 14 November and CCTV showed he was at the Cowherds pub, off The Avenue, the night before.

He remains in a critical condition at Southampton General Hospital and has been unable to speak to detectives because of his injuries.

Det Insp Simon Baker, from Hampshire police, said: "He is in a semi-coma like state. It is not known if his condition will improve.

Witness appeal

"It may well have been a homophobic attack. We are doing all we can to find those responsible."

When he was at the pub the night before he was found he was wearing a checked shirt, blue jeans, a dark jacket with a lighter collar and dark shoes.

Officers believe he was probably assaulted sometime before 2130 GMT on 13 November and have renewed an appeal for witnesses.

They want to speak to three people seen around the covered reservoir part of the common at about 0700 GMT on 14 November.

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