A pub landlord beaten with baseball bats by a masked gang in an unprovoked attack said: “I’m lucky to be alive.”
Roger Cheetham was viciously assaulted by the thugs while walking his dog just metres from his pub The Bassett in Fox Hill – and will spend at least four months in hospital.
The 43-year-old, who was not robbed despite carrying cash, a phone and keys to the pub, suffered fractures to his legs, ankles, hands and face.
Today Roger made an appeal from his hospital bed for anyone with information to come forward.
He said: “It seems from my experience to be the Fox Hill way that nobody speaks or name names.
“But I get the feeling that someone hasn’t gone to the trouble of getting disguises just for one targeted attack, and that this is going to happen again.
“As their confidence grows the severity of the next beating could grow, and I don’t want any other family to go through this.”
Roger, who has run pubs in Sheffield since 2000, said he will not be able to return to work in the future because of the assault.
The attack happened at around 11.30pm on Sunday, June 9, on the corner of Owen Close and Cowper Avenue.
Roger said: “They didn’t speak to me or to each other.
“I remember thinking I don’t know if it’s just a beating or whether they were going to carry on until they killed me. The initial blows were all to the body before they started on my head.”
The gang eventually fled as residents from a nearby house ran to Roger’s aid.
“We’re absolutely devastated,” said Roger.
“I have no idea why this has happened. It had been a routine, uneventful night at the pub and I had taken the dog out as usual.
“It was a motiveless and unprovoked attack.
“We’ve been in the licensed trade for 13 years and we’ve seen pub incidents. Not every pub has been the perfect pub, but never until now has it been personal against us.
“Doctors say they cannot guarantee a full recovery and recuperation is going to be a very long and slow process.
“But the psychological scars will stay with me for life.”
He added: “I would like to see those responsible brought to justice.”
Det Insp Victoria Short, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “From inquiries made to date it is not known what the motive was for this serious assault on the landlord of The Bassett Hotel.
“He has received a number of serious injuries which may have a major impact on his ability to work in the future.”
She added it was not known if the attack was linked to Mr Cheetham’s status as the pub landlord.
n Anyone with information contact police on 101.