Exclusive: Family pay tribute to ‘funny and loving’ attack victim Henry Huggins

Henry Huggins
Henry Huggins

A Luton family have paid tribute to a “funny and loving” father who has died almost two years after being savagely attacked in Farley Hill.

Henry Huggins, known to many as Chin, was left in a coma after the serious assualt in August 2013– during which Luton man Stuart Docherty stamped on his head.

Docherty was jailed for 17 years, while 40-year-old James Early was convicted of ABH.

After a long fight against the “catastrophic” injuries Henry Huggins died at 1.15pm on June 10.

Mr Huggins’ niece, Voices With Soul singer Corene Campbell, exclusively told the Luton News that her uncle’s death has been a “blow to the system” for her family.

She said: “We had faith in him and it was so difficult to see him just go not far from his 50th birthday in August.

“He didn’t have a machine keeping him alive, he was in a deep sleep and was breathing.

“He went peacefully so there will be no more pain.

“Chin was a healthy man and his life has gone in a flash.”

Corene added: “He was funny, loving and such a kind hearted guy.

“He was a carer for my grandmother and it has really affected her.

“We all love him so much.”

In October Mr Huggins’ family asked his friends and people from the community to take pictures of themselves with their fingers in a V sign on their chin, in honour of the attack victim’s nickname.

The ‘Chin for Chin’ campaign proved a remarkable success as more than a thousand selfies from wellwishers were collected.

Friends and family united again at Club Lewsey on Friday for a celebration of Mr Huggins’ life.

Corene said: “It was very emotional, we had a service to begin with and then a dance after.

“With the campaign everyone wanted to jump on board and do it.

“There is negativity about the community (in Luton) but when it comes to things like this everyone pulls together.”

In a statement Elmore and Raphel Huggins told the Luton News that they would miss their brother.

They said: “He was a big part of our lives, we all know in our hearts the justice that we got was not enough and did not fit the crime.

“We will not rest until proper justice has been done.”

Mr Huggins’ sister Mary added: “(Henry) has taken a part of my heart.

“Fifty years from now we will still be saying his name.”

Mr Huggins, who was a twin and one of seven siblings, had been subjected to threats of violence and racial taunts by his neighbour Early in the weeks leading up to the attack.

On August 8 2013 Docherty visited Early’s flat in Farley Hill and the pair set upon Mr Huggins after spotting him outside.

Early punched the father-of-two to the floor and in the fall Mr Huggins hit his head on the concrete path.

After Early left the scene Docherty stamped on Mr Huggins’ head, before stealing his watch and a ring while pretending to check his pulse.

Following Mr Huggins’ death this month Docherty’s case has been referred back to the Crown Prosecution Service.

An inquest into the father’s death could be opened at a later date.