A MOTEL manager has described the moment he learned that it was a former friend had him beaten so badly that he was permanently blinded in one eye as one of “total disbelief”.
Michael Browne, who runs the Yorkway next to the A1079 at Pocklington, spoke out after the court case involving his former pal concluded on Thursday.
Former Yorkway manager Alan Lumley and the two young men he hired all received custodial sentences for their part in the savage beating that rocked the town in July last year
Mr Browne admits he was simply shocked when the police told him that Lumley had hired the thugs to beat him up at the Yorkway.
“I was devastated when I found it was Alan, I had no idea. It was just total disbelief. If there was any sort of grievance, why did he not talk to me about it?
“The sentences that have been passed for the three of them gives me no pleasure whatsoever, just immense disappointment in a man I used to call a friend.
“I just hope the three of them realise the distress they have caused to so many people, it’s not just us but their families as well.
“From what has been indicated by the police, the sentences reflect what they have done.
“It has changed me, it’s changed both mine and Julia’s [Mr Browne’s partner] outlook on life. I’m quite a positive person and I won’t allow these individuals to change that.
“I’m just glad I can put some closure to that part of it.”
But while he is relieved that the court case is over, he still faces extensive surgery at Hull Royal Infirmary in the coming weeks.
He has been told that he can expect to be under the surgeon’s knife for a minimum of 12 hours as they continue to rebuild his face. They will remove and replace several of the plates inserted into his skull and face. Parts will be replaced by bone taken from his hip.
With his vision never set to return, a decision is still to be made on whether they will remove the eye.
Originally from near Skipton in North Yorkshire, Mr Browne has lived in Pocklington for nearly seven years.
Asked whether he considered moving after his horrific ordeal, he sad: “Absolutely not, we love living here in Pocklington.
“We have made a great deal of friends here and it’s a big thank you to the people of the town who have helped and supported us. When something like happens, it restores your faith in human nature.”