Crawley cinema attack victim tells how he was bitten on head and strangled


A cinema-goer has told how he was strangled and bit on the back of the head after he asked a man to be quiet during a film.

Michael Gwatkin, was attacked in Cineworld Crawley on June 1.

Mr Gwatkin said: “He was on my back and sunk his teeth on the back of my head.

“He tried biting my neck. He nearly choked me out.”

Mr Gwatkin was out with his girlfriend.

The pair were sat in front of the attacker in Screen 13.

Mr Gwatkin, 28, a sales assistant, from Hove, asked the man to stop whispering a number of times during the showing of One million Ways to Die in the West.

The man responded with abuse and threatened him.

The attacker followed Mr Gwatkin and his girlfriend out of the screening.

Mr Gwatkin said: “I said, ‘I’m an adult I don’t need this’ and he threw the first punch.

“I had a swollen eye and still have a black eye from it, cuts to the face and my right shoulder I cannot use at all - I cannot lift any weight.”

Mr Gwatkin was shocked that by-standers did not help him during the attack in the top floor corridor.

He said: “I was a bit shocked that no one tried to help.”

He said five people watched the incident.

Staff escorted the attacker out of the cinema and police were called.

A Cineworld spokesman said: “All necessary procedures were followed by Cineworld staff and we are assisting the police in their investigation.”

Mr Gwatkin was later given a tetanus shot in Sussex County Hospital for the bite.

He said of his attacker: “I want him to learn from this and realise there’s repercussions at his actions.”

PC Mark Robinson said: “This was a nasty assault on someone who asked another cinema-goer to keep his talking down so he could enjoy the film.

“The victim and his girlfriend have been very shaken by the incident and the victim has some nasty injuries.

“The cinema was busy that evening and it is hoped someone would have seen the incident”