Violence changed his life that night: Richard’s mum speaks out

Getting his life back: Richard, left, with best friend Ben Andrewan, mum Debbie Critchell, stepdad Martin Critchell and friend Shannon Smith
Getting his life back: Richard, left, with best friend Ben Andrewan, mum Debbie Critchell, stepdad Martin Critchell and friend Shannon Smith

THE vicious attack on Richard Lister seven months ago has changed the teenager’s life forever.

The 18-year-old, who was left fighting for his life after the mugging, has a different outlook on life now, says his mum, Debbie Critchell.

Richard Lister and best friend Ben Andrewan with matching shaved heads

Richard Lister and best friend Ben Andrewan with matching shaved heads

“The whole experience has changed him,” she said.

“He’s not the same person. He’s a lot more outgoing now and the experience has affected his outlook.

“It’s affected us all.”

Richard, from Skircoat in Halifax, suffered severe head injuries and did not wake up until 10 days after the attack.

After weeks of intensive treatment, he was finally allowed home in October and his recovery has been continuing ever since.

Debbie believes her son’s perseverance has been a huge boost to his recovery.

“He’s been more determined than ever to get better,” she said.

“Now he’s doing almost everything that he used to do.” Richard has been back working at The Watermill pub in Salterhebble, doing supervised shifts, which Debbie says has helped him to build his independence.

“He’s been getting himself there and back,” she said.

“It’s really helped get his life back on track.”

Staff and customers at the pub held a collection when they heard what had happened to buy Richard a new phone to replace the one taken in the robbery. They raised over £800.

One of the biggest blows for Richard has been not being able to ride his scooter.

He will not be able to get back on it until it has been at least a year since the attack.

The teenager, who received his A-level results the day he was mugged, also had to put his plans to follow a career in web design on hold.

But he is now starting to pursue that again and recently created his own webite.

He is prevented from drinking alcohol, as the effects of a hangover could be incredibly dangerous after the injuries he suffered.

But that has not stopped him socialising with his many friends.

“He’s been really good about that and his friends have been really supportive,” said Debbie.

Richard was inundated with visits from his friends while he was in hospital and they put together a book of “get well” messages for him, as well as a Facebook site in his honour.

Debbie said she was delighted her son is doing so well.

“He’s beaten all the odds,” she said.