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Attack victim Mo Bourner's dad talks about son's suffering
A teenager who was left fighting for his life after being punched in a racist attack has sunk into clinical depression and spoken about taking his own life.
Mo Bourner, now 16, was hailed a miracle after learning to walk and talk again after being punched by former soldier Ashley Dacosta in an unprovoked attack.
The then-15-year-old was left in a coma and suffered 90% brain damage following the attack ten months ago.
Physically Mo is on his way to recovery, but mentally he has suffered hugely.
In an interview his father Peter, who lives in Hooe, near Bexhill, opened his heart about his son.
He said he wanted people to know the lasting impact Dacosta's violence has had on Mo which he said has worsened dramatically over the past few weeks, since Dacosta was jailed for six years on July 30.
Peter BournerHe has deep-routed mental issues and judges people now. He was not like that before. He was an open lad before then
Farmer Mr Bourner told how Mo, who a year ago was “95% totally independent” and loved cycling, remained in a rehabilitation centre with carers.
He said his son cries down the phone to him every day and has suffered nightmares since seeing a photograph of Dacosta three weeks ago.
Mr Bourner said: “He has moved back several steps, is suffering behavioural difficulties and we are frantic with worry.
“We want him to be able to come home but he is a long, long way from that.
“He was doing well and this behaviour stems from the sentencing of Dacosta.
“Some of it is the acquired brain injury but some of it is a depression, because of what has happened to him.
“Mo said he is feeling like he is in a similar situation to Dacosta.
“While Dacosta is in prison, he is locked in a secure unit and is suffering even more. He has gone to hell and back.
“He has gone from a 95% independent boy to a boy who is 100% dependant on carers.
“He has talked about ending things which is a horrible thing for a parent to hear.
“He talks about harming himself.”
Mr Bourner said that he knew there was not going to be a “fairy tale ending” but his son's trauma upset him deeply.
He said: “It was a racist attack and his trust in people has plummeted deeply.
“He has deep-routed mental issues and judges people now. He was not like that before. He was an open lad before then.
“Because he is depressed he has a lack of interest and motivation.
“But he still has spirit. He was such a ladies' man and he still wants to carry on and have kids. But it is a long way off.
“I cannot emphasis enough how delicate his mental health is.”
He said he hoped in the future his son, who was attacked on October 29, 2011, in De La Warr Parade, Bexhill, would talk to others about his experiences of violence and the awful impact it has.
He said: “He is a tailor-made ambassador and would be brilliant, although there is a long way to go at the moment.
“What has happened to Mo shows the awful impact of violence.”
He added that he had no faith that 20-year-old Dacosta, who was based in Windsor, but who was from Bexhill, would reform, adding: “He should never be released. Another parent could have a child who ends up like Mo or worse.”
Dacosta was jailed for racially aggravated grievous bodily harm and perverting the course of justice.