The family of Christopher Henchliffe have described him as a “crazy, wonderful son, grandson and brother” after the former soldier died a week after being attacked in Chesterfield.
The 26-year old was assaulted in the early hours of Sunday 3rd July on Corporation Street, near the Pomegranate Theatre, sometime between 4am and 4.30am.
Derbyshire Police confirmed on Tuesday that Chris had died from his injuries while in Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital.
His mum, Yvonne, and his family have issued a statement paying tribute to him.
Yvonne said: “Chris had served in the army in the Yorkshire Regiment and did a tour of Afghanistan. He left the army two months ago to pursue a life in Civvy Street and found a great job at Vesuvius, which he loved.”
“Chris was a marvellous daddy to his five-year-old son Tyler and supported Natalie, Tyler’s mum, in many ways.”
“He was a crazy, wonderful son, grandson and brother to James, Luke and Zoey, uncle too and always kept any atmosphere alive with his cheeky grin and the mischievous twinkle in his eyes.”
Officers in Chesterfield were first alerted to the incident when they got a call from Chesterfield Royal Hospital telling them that a man had been brought in looking like he had been assaulted.
Yvonne continued: “When we got the call about Chris I rushed to the hospital with one of his brothers; we never dreamt it would be so bad. Our heartache began at that moment.”
The 26-year old was treated at Chesterfield Royal Hospital before being transferred to Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital.
Yvonne continued: “Chris was in Ward K of neuro critical care at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield. My goodness those nurses have been taught by angels and act like angels. The dignity they gave Chris was beyond any job description.”
“We never imagined the cruel heartbreak that was approaching us. We were sat down by the consultants and told Chris had had a stroke and that his life support would be switched off.”
“We are so numb. We were so in love with Chris that we can’t console each other; the pain of his dying hours have ripped our souls apart.”
“So, broken as we are, the only thing we are united in is that we wouldn’t want any other family to experience anything we went through because of a night out on the town.”
“If anyone is going to drink, then remember Chris. He’d had a drink that night and strayed from his friends.”
21-year old Benjamin Edwards, of Field View Place in Chesterfield, has been arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm but Derbyshire Police have said that in light of Mr Henchliffe’s death they will consult with the Crown Prosecution Service about the charges brought in the case.
Two other men, both 24, have been arrested in connection with the incident and have been bailed while inquiry continues.
Chris’s mum Yvonne added: “I’m sure the boys who were involved in the assault that night never would have dreamt of the consequences of their actions.”
“The support we have received from the police has been outstanding and they have helped us in ways we couldn’t have imagined. Chris’s friends have been a godsend to us, in fact the town got behind Chris’s story, which amazed and touched us deeply. We have also received great support from the Yorkshire Regiment. We never expected or know how much Chris and his family meant to so many people.”