A YOUNG dad fighting for life after an attack has started moving for the first time since he was put into an induced coma.

Jonny Smith, 25, was assaulted in St Botolph’s Street, Colchester, on New Year’s Day.

He moved an arm and a leg yesterday afternoon.

His mum, Sue, has been at his bedside at Queen’s Hospital in Romford, every day. She said: “He is starting to come around.

He is moving on one side and grabbing for the tube. They are trying to get him to wake. There has been an improvement.”

Jonny was assaulted at 2am.

He was taken to Colchester General Hospital and transferred to Romford’s specialist care unit, where medics operated to relieve pressure on his brain.

Mrs Smith said: “They have reduced the medicine, but he is still on life support and getting help breathing.

“We are just waiting and hoping he opens his eyes. It is one little step at a time.”

She thanked everyone for their support.

Landscaper Jonny lives in Wivenhoe with partner, Sophie Ryleigh, and their seven-monthold daughter, Ella.

Mrs Smith said: “Thirty people have been to see him. It means a lot and we all feel more positive now.

“Sophie and the baby are doing well and she is coping well.”

The family agreed for a picture of Jonny in hospital to be published to highlight the effect alcohol-fuelled violence can have. Mrs Smith said: “I just want people to see what has happened and think.”

The attempts to bring him fully out of the coma were not entirely successful and the hospital plans to try again today.


Alexander Hunter, 21, of Colne Way, Point Clear, has been charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Hunter did not enter a plea when he appeared in court and has been remanded in custody until March.