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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

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Brutal nightclub attack on Britain's Got Talent star

Britain's Got Talent star Andrew Johnston has told how he was brutally attacked in a Carlisle nightclub toilet.

Related: Police release CCTV images after nightclub assault

Andrew, 19, who shot to fame on the TV talent show in 2008, was headbutted, kicked and punched in an unprovoked attack.

The singer, who is originally from Stanwix, had been enjoying a night out with pals on New Year’s Eve after returning home from Manchester, where he is now based.

He told the News & Star how he had left a party at his sister’s house before heading into the city centre.

The group ended up in Outrageous nightclub where Andrew went to the men’s toilet alone.

It was then that a man who he had never seen or met before began talking to him and asking him questions.

Andrew said: “It was completely out of the blue – he just started asking me questions about where I lived.

“I told him I lived in Oxford Road in Manchester but he said that Oxford Road wasn’t there and started getting really frustrated.

“Then out of nowhere he just headbutted me. It was completely unprovoked.

“I slipped and fell on the floor and then I began feeling kicks and punches to my head.

“I don’t how many there were but it lasted for about 20 seconds and it felt like there was someone else there to the right of me.

“I was just so worried about keeping my head covered – it was just kick after kick.”

By this time a bouncer had come in and helped Andrew to his feet and took him outside.

The owner of the club took Andrew to hospital as he was bleeding heavily from his head and was drifting in and out of consciousness.

He later found out he had suffered a broken nose and cheekbone and he had to have staples in his head to treat the wound.

Following his ordeal Andrew began to get anxious and shake uncontrollably in large crowds.

He also developed a persistent cough, which after several medical consultations and rounds of treatment, was found to have been caused by the damage to his nose.

He may now require further treatment for another suspected broken bone in his nose.

Andrew says he’s now over the trauma of the attack but it has affected his singing career.

He explained: “The cough has been a real nuisance and I haven’t been able to be on top form during concerts.

“It has just been a drag for the past few months and has really got me down.”

Andrew captured the nation’s hearts as a baby-faced choirboy when he appeared on Britain’s Got Talent as a 13-year-old.

The former Trinity School pupil even brought TV’s ‘Mr Nasty’ Simon Cowell close to tears when he told of his battle with bullies.

Andrew eventually finished third in the show after his unforgettable rendition of Pie Jesu and his debut album, One Voice reached number five in the charts.

Andrew says he isn’t sure if the attack was connected to his fame-filled background.

He said: “I’ve heard that whoever did it comes into the club quite often but I don’t know if it was just one of those things.

“Whoever it was I want them caught because all I did was go for a good night out and it’s not right when you get idiots starting fights.”

Police have released CCTV images of a man and a woman they would like to speak to in connection with the attack, which happened at about 1.30am on New Year’s Day.

The male suspect is described as 5’10” tall, of average build, with short, dark brown hair and a local accent. He also had a flat nose.

Anyone who can help should contact PC Claire Whatman on 101.

Andrew Johnston performs at the BGT final

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