DETECTIVES are hoping a combination of conscience and sheer humanity will help them to establish exactly what happened to leave a teenager clinging desperately to life in intensive care.
Former Ninfield Primary pupil and Hooe resident Mo Bourner, 15, suffered serious head injuries after he was punched to the ground while walking home with three friends from a beach party along De La Warr Parade, Bexhill, between midnight and 12.45am on October 28/29.
The apparently unprovoked attack, which happened between the junctions with Middlesex Road and Brassey Road, left Mo with a fractured skull.
He was taken to the Conquest Hospital, St Leonard’s, but due to the seriousness of his injuries was transferred the same night to the Hurstwood Park Neurological Centre, Haywards Heath.
He remains on a life-support machine, being watched over day and night by his distraught parents - his father, Hooe farmer Peter Bourner, and his Senegalese mother, Rahma Adan, from Bermondsey, South London.
Police officers spoke to more than 220 people close to the attack scene last Friday night (November 4) in a bid to find out what happened to the teenager.
Police have released closed circuit television (CCTV) footage of four people they are anxious to speak to in connection with the incident.
To view images, log on to www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouy80zQDtYI and www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouy80zQDtYI
The people are two girls - one blonde, one brunette - and two boys, one wearing a check shirt and one with dark-rimmed spectacles, who were seen in MJz bar in St Leonard’s Road, Bexhill, that night.
Detective Chief Inspector Nick Sloan, of the Sussex and Surrey Police major crime unit, appealed to the four, who all appear to know each other, to contact police without delay.
He said the seriousness of the case, and Mo’s precarious grip on life as he lies in a drug-induced coma with no sign yet of how badly damaged his brain might be, meant it was no time for people with information to hold back.
He said: “They are probably still young, but one day soon they may become parents themselves.
“I ask them to imagine how Mo’s parents must be feeling right now and how they themselves might feel watching their child fighting for his very survival, hour after hour.”
Meanwhile local MP Greg Barker has visited Mo Bourner’s family to offer his support.
He said: “The horrific attack on Mo Bourner has shocked and appalled everyone in the town.
“The thought that such a gratuitously violent attack could take place in Bexhill is truly shocking.
“We must ensure that the individual responsible is not only charged but successfully prosecuted for this crime.
“I would therefore urge anyone who can help in anyway, no matter how small, to come forward to the police and obtain justice for Mo and his family.”
Anyone able to help is asked to call Sussex Police by dialling 101 and quoting Operation Leverton, or by using the free and anonymous Crimestoppers linkline on 0800 555 111.
A 20-year-old local man arrested in connection with the enquiry on Monday, October 31 has since been released on bail.