‘I see the pain he goes through. It’s heartbreaking’

Robert Tuck pictured with his parents Karen and Glyn.
Robert Tuck pictured with his parents Karen and Glyn.
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ROBERT Tuck sustained traumatic brain injuries and had his jaw broken “like a jigsaw puzzle” after being repeatedly kicked and stamped on in the attack by Baronins.

He had to be fed through a straw for six months.

As a result of his brain injury he now has a difficulty communicating and has lost much of the use of his right arm and leg.

The former Leeds City Athletics Club runner is now only able to walk short distances and is no longer able to drive or work full time.

He has had to return to live with his parents and is unable to continue living independently. He faces further surgery in the future as his condition deteriorates.

Despite his injuries and often being in severe pain, Mr Tuck has managed to return to work part time to his job with the NHS working with overweight children.

Mr Tuck’s mum Karen: “I can see the pain and struggles he goes through every day and it is heartbreaking.

“Despite his terrible injuries he has been determined not to wallow and has not wanted to be a burden to the state. Robert has been an inspiration to us and people who 
know him. He has got off his backside and worked hard to get back into work and to help others - the thanks he gets is to be denied justice.”

She added: “We are never going to be able to forget what we have been through as a family. Robert is never going to be the same again.

“One of the few comforts was knowing that the man who did this was going to be locked away for a very long time.

“Hearing this news is like living the nightmare all over again.”

Mr Tuck’s dad Glyn said the decision made a mockery of the justice system.

He said “First they allowed him to escape after granting him bail when he attacked Robert and a trial had to be held while Baronins was still on the run.

“The police went to the effort of launching an appeal before catching him and a judge finally gave him a sentence we could be happy with - now this.

“It just makes you wonder what is the point of having a police force, judges, courts and juries in the first place if this his how we treat serious criminals in the end.

“We are desperately trying to get answers but we get nothing from anyone who has real power. Someone should be made to come out and justify themselves.”

Mr Tuck and his family said they were also disappointed with the support they have received from their local MP, Alec Shelbrooke. The family said they went to see to the MP for Elmet and Rothwell after receiving the letter and expressed their disgust at the proposal to transfer Baronins out of the UK.

They claim Mr Shelbrooke sent a letter to his Justice Secretary Michael Gove which 
fails to raise their concerns properly. His letter stated: “On behalf of the family, I am seeking assurances that, should Mr Baronins be transferred to a prison in his home country, his sentence will be no less than the one he would serve if he was to remain in the UK.”

Mr Tuck said his MP’s response failed to properly raise his objections. He said: “The main cause of upset is that 
he is even being considered for release in the UK in the first place.”

Mr Shelbrooke has since responded to the Tuck family by e-mail. It states: “Forgive me for not making the intention of my initial letter to the Secretary of State clearer. It is current government policy that, where cross-nation agreements are in place, foreign national offenders can be deported to serve a prison 
sentence within their home country.

“As mentioned in our meeting, this policy cites freeing up UK prisons and saving taxpayers’ money as its rationale.”

The message adds: “If the Secretary of State’s reply indicates that no full assurance can be given as regards serving a full sentence in Latvia – and it is clear that the Ministry of Justice plays a role in deciding the outcome of such an application, then I will be making the case against deportation citing the reasons you expressed to me.”