Teenage brothers who shattered skull of former care worker unmasked

Two teenagers who beat a man in a “frenzied” attack in a row over a frisbee and left him fighting for life can be named for the first time.

Archie and George Tilley were jailed on Thursday after shattering the skull of former carer Alan Willson, 47, on Easter Sunday last year.

Mr Willson was injured so badly his family was told he would not survive, after suffering fractures to his face, ribs and spine.

George Tilley was only 13-years-old and his brother Archie 14 when they attacked Mr Willson with a heavy blunt object.

They were previously found guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent after a trial at Lewes Crown Court in Hove.

Lifting a reporting restriction at the sentencing hearing, Judge Christine Henson QC said the pair were a significant danger to the public having dismissed their claim of self defense as lacking credibility.

Another teenager, Harry Furlong, 18, was jailed for 20 months for his part in the attack.

Archie Tilley (L) and George Tilley (R) beat Alan Willson with a ‘blunt heavy object’


The judge said it was just luck Mr Willson had not been killed.

The brothers showed no emotion when they were handed nine-year custodial sentences. A three year extended license was added by the judge following an assessment of their dangerousness.

“This was a group activity, initiated by Archie, enthusiastically joined by George,” Ms Henson said.

Archie Tilley had two previous convictions for three offenses while George had fire convictions for 18 offenses – the latter was only 10-years-old when he recorded his first offenses, all of which were for violence including ABH and battery.

Former care worker Alan Willson, will never speak again his family has said


A boy who witnessed the attack described how Mr Willson and the other three boys started arguing.

The boy told police: “One of them just came like grabbing and pushing him and then they all started whacking him with like stumps or like really large thick sticks.”

Mr Willson was bleeding heavily from his ears and head when his wife found him lying on a park footpath near their home in Worthing, West Sussex.

The jury was shown train station CCTV footage of the boys re-enacting their assault on Mr Willson. The teenagers bragged and joked as Mr Willson was being airlifted to hospital.

A girl who saw the boys at the train station described to police how they were “bragging”.

Harry Furlong was jailed for his part in beating Alan Willson


In a victim impact statement, Mrs Willson told the court her life had stopped. “On Sunday 4th April 2021, Easter Sunday you destroyed my family and have broken us beyond repair.

“I will never forget turning up in that park and seeing what you had done to my Alan. You took away a husband, father grandad, brother, cousin and uncle.

“Now, because of your actions, my husband cannot speak, cannot play with his children, cannot work and cannot control his body. He has no mental capacity, no vision in his left eye and has a massive brain injury from which he will never fully recover.

“He will never again be able to enjoy the things he took so much pleasure in,” she continued. “He no longer says silly things to make us laugh. He no longer gives us hugs and cuddles that we used to enjoy so much.

“No sentence that you get will ever be long enough as it is Alan who has the life sentence together with myself and my family.”

“My life has stopped. There is no more joy,” Mrs Willson said. She added that while her husband has recovered as much as he can, he will never speak again and has no mental capacity.

“He is the most frustrated person I’ve ever seen because on the days when he has capacity, he knows what he wants to say but he can’t say it,” she added.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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