A former Ballymoney man is lucky to be alive following an unprovoked early morning brick attack on Monday February 24th around 3:15am in Burnley, whilst on his way home.
Oliver Sparkes, who now lives in Lancashire, is only 20 years, a father of one young child and another on the way for him and partner Megan-Ann in a few months.
At least two individuals attacked Oliver in which a brick was used to hit him in the face, resulting in a broken nose, broken jaw and a bleed on the brain. Oliver also suffered lacerations to his hip.
Luckily for young Oliver a local resident in the area saw the attack and came out of his home to his aid. Firstly chasing of the two attacker and then calling an ambulance, who transferred Oliver to the Royal Blackburn Hospital.
His Father Bernard Sparkes speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph. recalls receiving a message from the stranger who came to his son’s aid, saying:
“Without this man I don’t think my son would have survived. My son is a very, very lucky man.”
But it was a call from his sons partner, who was in a panic over the attack, that sparked Bernard to make the long four and a half journey to the hospital from his home in Sunderland to be with his Son, on roads that had been covered in snow, adding to the difficulty in getting to his Sons side.
Bernard talks about trying to find out what condition Oliver was in while making the long journey.
“While I was driving, I rang the hospital to see what the situation with Oliver was. The nurses could only tell me over the phone my son was in a serious condition and I had to get there as soon as possible. I didn’t know what was going on and I had to drive all the way to Blackburn.
“I was driving for miles and miles worrying about him and trying to figure out what had happened. Once I was there they told me the extent of his injuries.”
Thankfully Oliver is much better now and has since been discharged from hospital. Bernard provided an update saying:
“Oliver was discharged on Wednesday from hospital and Dr’s are happy with his recovery.
“The police have had a number of witnesses come forward and names have been SUGGESTED as the attackers, one of which had apparently posted on his Facebook (before he deleted it) that he had hit a lad in the face with a brick.
“Myself and my family must thank The brave man who came out of his house to confront the scum, came to Oliver’s aid, called the emergency services and stayed with him until the ambulance arrived.
“Also The crew from North West Ambulance Service, All the fabulous NHS staff for the excellent care they have given, Lancashire Police And everyone one social media for your wonderful messages of support.
“Thank you all again from every member of the Sparkes Family”
A police spokesman said:
“The victim was walking with a friend by Burnham Gate and Trafalgar Street in Burnley at 3.15am on Monday when they were approached by at least two unknown men. There was an altercation.
“During the altercation the men punched and kicked the man in the torso and head. He also suffered cuts and grazes.
“Paramedics attended and the man was taken to hospital. Enquiries are on-going.”