Blink of an eye gives family hope

Richard Lister (far right) - please crop!
Richard Lister (far right) - please crop!

LOVED ONES of a teenager left critically ill after a robbery say there are signs he is fighting back to recovery.

Richard Lister, known as Rick to his friends, has nodded his head and even blinked open one eye while his family talked to him at his bedside.

The 18-year-old, from Skircoat, Halifax, is still on a ventilator in intensive care at Leeds General Infirmary a week after being robbed in Skircoat Road while on his way to celebrate his A-level results.

His family are hopeful he will wake up any day now.

His mum, Debbie Critchell, said: “He seems to know we are there. He has been responding to all the tests and they were doing them every hour. Now they’re every two hours.”

She and the rest of his family have been at Richard’s bedside every day, along with his best friend who has had a tattoo of a phoenix and his friend’s name to support him.

He also helped shave Richard’s head after half was taken off for an operation, and has promised to let Richard do his when he wakes up.

“Everyone is trying to do something to help,” said Mrs Critchell.

“We’ve had hundreds of texts and Facebook messages. People are praying for him and sending healing thoughts.”

Meanwhile three of the people accused of robbing Richard have been bailed.

They are: Duron Thompson, 19, of Basil Street; Viren Lad, 17, of Winston Terrace; and Hassan Adam, 17, of Ventnor Street, all in Bradford.

The trio were kept in custody after an appearance at Calderdale magistrates’ court on Monday.

Magistrates had at first granted them bail but prosecutor Lisa Beadle appealed against their decision.

Judge Peter Benson released them on Wednesday after a hearing at Bradford Crown Court.

Solicitors for their co-accused - Sophie Arnold, 18, of Ormondroyd Avenue, Bradford, and Stefan Grant, 20, of Halesworth Crescent, Bradford - did not apply for bail.

The four young men are alleged to have attacked 18-year-old Richard Lister in Skircoat Green Road, Halifax, last Thursday, and stolen his iPhone as he made his way out to celebrate his results.

He was left critically ill in hospital, where his condition is now described serious but stable.

The gang are also accused of robbing 20-year-old Michael Cook of his phone, passport and cash in Moor Bottom Road, Illingworth, Halifax, on the same night.

Arnold - Adam’s girlfriend - is alleged to have driven the others around Halifax.

The defendants have not yet entered pleas to the two charges of robbery and are due to appear at Bradford Crown Court on Wednesday.