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Saturday, 20 December 2014

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Police probe Carlisle dad’s mystery brain injury

A father of four was left fighting for his life in a Newcastle hospital after he suffered a devastating brain injury in mysterious circumstances.

Robert Shaw photo
Robert Shaw

Police have now launched an investigation to establish whether Robert Shaw, 62, from Carlisle, was the victim of an assault.

His devastated family have spoken of their shock at how a normal night out could have ended with council worker Robert critically ill in the intensive care unit of the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.

Detectives want to find out what happened to Robert during two crucial hours when he disappeared after leaving a pub in Botchergate, where he had been with friends.

He has now regained consciousness, but the long-term effects of his brain injury have yet to be established.

His wife Pauline, 54, said the family are desperate to know what happened – and praying Robert will be well enough to give away his daughter Hayley Moughton, 28, when she gets married at St Cuthbert’s Church in Carlisle in eight weeks’ time.

Pauline said: “We’d both been out on New Year’s Day at Gallaghers in Botchergate and Robert was with his mates and seemed fine. He was having a great night, and looking forward to Hayley’s wedding.”

Early the next morning, as she got ready for work, Mrs Shaw briefly saw her husband at home, and noticed that he had a black eye. She went to her job at the Tesco store on the Viaduct while he slept. It was early the next morning she realised that he was unwell and called an ambulance.

“I thought it would be best to leave him if he wasn’t feeling too well, but when I asked him how he got his black eye he could only mumble. I realised something was very wrong. I called an ambulance, and within an hour they rushed him to Newcastle.

“He was in intensive care for three days. He had three blood clots on his brain. They didn’t think he had much of a chance and he was fighting for his life. They’ve said he suffered a significant amount of brain injury but they don’t know how bad it is yet.”

Robert last week opened his eyes and was able to recognise his family, but doctors believe he does not yet have his short-term memory back.

Hayley said: “Somebody somewhere must know something about what happened. If he was assaulted, he may have lain unconscious for a couple of hours.”

A spokeswoman for Cumbria police said officers want to establish what happened to Mr Shaw between him leaving Denton Street at around 11.20pm on January 1 and arriving in Norfolk Street, where he and Pauline live, at around 1am the following morning.

Contact officers on 101.

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