The family of a Buxton man who is fighting for his life after an alleged assault in the town has said they are ‘absolutely heartbroken’ – and urged witnesses to come forward.
John Peacock, 53, of Bath Road, was found unconscious outside the London Road Inn on Saturday night.
Police said he had suffered a serious head injury.
Mr Peacock was taken to hospital in Salford where he was still in an induced coma and on a life-support machine on Wednesday afternoon.
Two Buxton men have been arrested on suspicion of assault and released on bail.
Mr Peacock’s stepdaughter Rebecca Green said: “The whole family is absolutely heartbroken and devastated.
“This couldn’t have happened to a nicer man – he’s always up for a laugh and he adores his family and friends.
“I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.”
Mrs Green said her mother Lorraine Barnsley, who is Mr Peacock’s partner, is ‘inconsolable’.
She added: “He suffered bleeding on the brain only three years ago – he’s a poorly man.
“Before what happened on Saturday night he was only just starting to get over the brain bleed.”
His niece Tammy Gregory added: “We just can’t believe what’s happened.
“We’re taking each day as it comes and hoping and praying he gets better.”
Mr Peacock’s family is urging witnesses to the alleged assault to contact police.
Mrs Green, of Ashbourne, said: “I’m begging anyone from the bottom of my heart to come forward with any information they may have.”
Mrs Gregory, of Buxton, added: “The smallest piece of information could be crucial.”
A Derbyshire police spokesman said: “Officers, along with paramedics, were called to reports of a man unconscious in the street outside the London Road Inn at about 10.30pm on Saturday.
“He had suffered a serious head injury and was taken to hospital in Salford.
“Two Buxton men, aged 41 and 49, were arrested on suspicion of assault.
“They have been questioned and released on bail pending further enquiries.”
The spokesman added: “Officers believe the victim may have been involved in an argument with a group of men and are appealing for witnesses to come forward.”
Meanwhile, residents have posted messages on the Buxton Advertiser’s Facebook page wishing Mr Peacock, who has lived in the area all his life, a speedy recovery.
Kai Burton said: “Get well soon, John.”
Christine McDonald added: “Wishing you a speedy recovery.”
Witnesses or anyone with information about the alleged assault should call police on 101, quoting incident number 825 of September 12, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.