Army engineer left blind in one eye after random assault by trio

A serving soldier who was badly beaten by three men outside a pub says he is facing potentially career-ending injuries as a result of the assault.

Brett Williams, a 39-year-old British Army electrical mechanical engineer, said he had been at the Miners Arms pub in Redruth with some friends he played rugby with.

Mr Williams left the pub with his friends at about 10:45pm and went alone down a nearby road to check if the group’s taxi had arrived yet.

On his way back to the pub, he noticed three men in their early twenties blocking the curb.

Mr Williams said he walked by them with his hands in his pockets before being pushed to the ground by one of the men, unprovoked.

The trio kicked, punched and threw a bottle at Mr Williams, causing injuries to his face and severe damage to his left eye.

“My friends saw something was happening,” Mr Williams said, “and came to my aid. It turned into quite a big fight since they were trying to defend me.”

The police and an ambulance were called, and after firstly refusing to press charges or go to hospital, Mr Williams was in “excruciating pain” when he got home.

“I looked at my eye and thought it was okay, and the paramedics told my wife to monitor me,” he said. “I’ve played rugby for 35 years, so I thought it was just a black eye at first. About 15 minutes after I got home I was on the floor in absolute agony bleeding from my eye, nose and mouth.

“It was a bleed behind my eye, and a CT scan showed my eye socket was broken.”

Miners Arms pub, Redruth
(Image: Google)

As well as six stitches to his face, Mr Williams had damage to his optic nerve and his left eye had been pushed nearly 2cm out of position, stretching the nerve.

His left eye is effectively blind and will be reviewed in a few months’ time to see if it can be corrected – but surgery risks complete and permanent loss of sight.

After two days in hospital, Mr Williams said staff were uneasy about operating right away for fear of further damage to his eye.

“If I were younger in my career, or if it were in my right eye, I’d be discharged now and could lose my pension,” Mr Williams said. “Luckily, since you use weapon optics with your right eye, I should be okay.”

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The British Army staff sergeant, who is based in Tidworth, s hoping the police will find the attackers soon – but has heard nothing yet.

A spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police said: “Police are investigating a report of a serious assault which happened outside the Miners Arms pub in Redruth at around 10.45pm on Saturday 19 December.

“The victim, a man in his 30s, sustained facial injuries as a result of the unprovoked attack.

“Anyone with information is asked to contact police via 101@dc.police.uk or by calling 101 quoting CR/106098/20.”

Cornwall Live