Five arrested in murder probe after "innocent" dad killed in football attack

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Five men have been arrested in connection to the death of a "completely innocent" father who was left with permanent brain damage following a punch up after football match back in 2015.

Simon Dobbin, who passed away in October 2020, was assaulted in Southend following a 0-0 draw between Southend United and his beloved Cambridge United. He was left unable to walk or talk and required round-the-clock care following the attack.

As part of a longstanding police investigation, five men aged 30, 34, 39, 45 and 27 have been arrested this morning at addresses across south Essex. They are all in custody and will be questioned on suspicion of murder.

Detective Superintendent Stephen Jennings, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, is leading our investigation into Simon’s death. He said: “Investigations into Simon’s death showed a direct, causal link to the injuries he sustained in Southend on the day he was attacked in March 2015.

“As a result of those findings, we began treating Simon’s death as a homicide and a new investigation was launched.

“As part of that investigation, this morning we have arrested five people on suspicion of murder. We are also speaking to a number of people who we are considering as witnesses in order to gather their accounts.

“Simon’s wife, Nicole, and their daughter Emily have been kept updated on our progress every step of the way. Simon was a completely innocent party in the disorder that took place that day and his family have been through an unimaginable time.

“The injuries Simon sustained that day did not just change his life, they also changed the lives of Nicole and Emily. As a team, we will do everything we possibly can to secure justice for Nicole, Emily and Simon’s wider family and friends.”

In total, 13 people were convicted and sentenced in connection with the incident in March 2015, during which Simon sustained life-changing injuries.

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