Police search for witnesses: Zimbabwean man beaten into a coma in London

Omen Mugaviri’s family are appealing to the public to come forward with vital information in the attack, as his condition remains uncertain


The family of a Zimbabwean man beaten into a coma have pleaded for the public’s help in apprehending the perpetrators. 38-year-old Omen Mugaviri had been taken to hospital after being found bleeding profusely from his injuries in Wood Green, North London, at the end of June.

His family have now released a statement asking for a female witness captured on CCTV cameras to come forward and help with the prosecution of a 43-year-old man arrested in connection with the crime, adding that Mugaviri may never recover from his injuries.

The woman shown in the footage appears to be 35 to 45 years old and is identifiable by having a sling on her left arm at the time when the footage was taken on June 30.

Mugaviri mystery woman
Have you seen this woman?

Mugaviri has been in a coma for nearly two months, remaining largely unresponsive. According to newspaper reports, part of his skull-bone had to be removed to alleviate the effects of oedema to the brain.

Since the brutal assault, Priscilla Nyana, Omen Mugaviri’s aunt, has made several emotional appeals in the name of his family, explaining that the majority of his immediate family members live in Zimbabwe. His mother is reportedly struggling to get her travel documentation together to come to the UK and see her son in hospital.

61-year-old Nyana, an NHS nurse with over 40 years of experience herself, said that she is constantly updating her sister on Mugaviri’s condition ahead of her planned trip to the UK:

“I don’t know where she is going to get the money from, but at the moment we’re just trying to get the visa in place. We’re having to send all sorts of documents over, saying that we can support her when she gets here.

“My family is absolutely devastated by what happened that night and these last few months have been extremely difficult for us. Omen is a good man, and does not deserve what happened to him. I urge anyone who witnessed this or knows anything to come forward and help police with their investigation.”

The police have underlined in the meantime that they don’t expect any foul play on Omen Mugaviri’s part to have been involved in the attack. Detective Sergeant Gordon McKay of the investigating Wood Green Police unit emphasised that Mugaviri is “of previous good character, we’ve never come across him before.”

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Trevers of the same unit added: “Due to Omen’s condition we are unable to fully establish what happened between the eve of Sunday to the time he was found by police. If you are the person in the photo or know who she may be, please contact us so we can establish exactly what happened that night and arrest those responsible.”

If you have information about the crime or are able to help identify the woman, please get in touch with Wood Green CID on 020 3276 3078 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.