‘WE’RE GO­ING THROUGH A LIVING HELL’ Fam­ily of for­mer rugby player in coma after mys­tery attack tell of tor­ment

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS - KATIE GUPWELL Re­porter katieann.gupwell@waleson­line.co.uk

T HE fam­ily of a for­mer rugby player who was found in a lane with lifechang­ing in­juries say he is now able to open and close his eyes.

Ex-Wales Dragon­hearts full­back Scott Bes­sant was dis­cov­ered in a lane by a passer-by on Au­gust 13.

Mr Bes­sant, from Ta­ly­wain in Pon­ty­pool, was found ly­ing next to a bridge in Pen­twyn Lane in Abersy­chan at around 5.15am, hours after leav­ing a pub.

He re­mains in a coma, un­able to walk or talk, but can now open and close his eyes. His fam­ily say they want to be able to tell the 34-year-old that they did all they could to find out what hap­pened to him.

But Mr Bes­sant’s brother-in-law, Neil Chere, said he fears their chances are fad­ing away.

He has now com­plained to both Gwent Po­lice and the In­de­pen­dent Po­lice Com­plaints Com­mis­sion (IPCC) about the in­ves­tiga­tive pro­ce­dures fol­lowed by of­fi­cers and the way ev­i­dence was col­lected at the scene.

Mr Chere, 47, said: “We want to be able to stand in front of Scott and tell him we did all we could to find out what hap­pened to him.

“We re­ported the con­cerns in Septem­ber and we are re­ally dis­ap­pointed with them for a lot of things.

“No-one has re­ally spo­ken to us about the con­cerns we have raised. We still do not know what has hap­pened to him.”

The fam­ily say they first com­plained to Gwent Po­lice in Septem­ber.

“It’s putting strain on the fam­ily,” Mr Chere said. “After 60 days we still have not even been given the com­mon de­cency to have been af­forded the op­por­tu­nity of dis­cussing th­ese al­le­ga­tions of ne­glect in any shape or form.”

Mr Chere claimed that apart from a phone call and a few texts, the fam­ily have had very lit­tle com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the po­lice.

He also said the fam­ily asked of­fi­cers to re-ap­peal for peo­ple to come for­ward with in­for­ma­tion about the in­ci­dent, but claim Gwent Po­lice re­fused to do this.

He said: “We, as a fam­ily, are go­ing through a living hell ev­ery day while Scott tries to over­come his hor­rific in­juries. We can’t be­lieve what’s gone on. It’s been hor­ren­dous.”

The IPCC said the com­plaint has been passed onto Gwent Po­lice.

A spokesman for the IPCC said: “We re­ceived a re­fer­ral of a com­plaint in early Oc­to­ber from Gwent Po­lice.

“After as­sess­ment we de­cided it is suit­able for the force to carry out an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the com­plaint.”

Gwent Po­lice said ap­peals for in­for­ma­tion have been re­leased via the me­dia and its web­site.

No­tices have also been posted on the force’s so­cial me­dia pages and they said all in­for­ma­tion re­ceived fol­low­ing the ap­peals was ex­plored.

A spokes­woman for Gwent Po­lice said: “Gwent Po­lice en­deav­ours to pro­vide an ef­fi­cient and ef­fec­tive ser­vice to the pub­lic. When we re­ceive a com­plaint, we aim to re­solve it in a fair, timely and pro­fes­sional way en­sur­ing that any op­por­tu­ni­ties for learn­ing are iden­ti­fied so that im­prove­ments can be made to the ser­vice we de­liver to the pub­lic.

“This mat­ter was re­ferred to the IPCC for in­de­pen­dent re­view and fol­low­ing as­sess­ment, it was de­cided by them that this com­plaint was suit­able for the force to con­tinue an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the com­plaint which is on­go­ing.

“We ac­knowl­edge the con­cerns raised by Mr Bes­sant’s fam­ily in re­la­tion to this case, and will of course in­ves­ti­gate the com­plaint in line with force pro­ce­dures.

“Mr Bes­sant’s fam­ily will have a right of ap­peal to the IPCC at its con­clu­sion if not sat­is­fied by the find­ings or out­come.”

Scott Bes­sant has fi­nally opened and closed his eyes, but re­mains in a coma since the attack in Au­gust

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