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Gogglebox star in ‘waking nightmare’ 2 years after back broken in street attack

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A Gogglebox star who had "everything taken away" from him when he broke his back in a vicious street assault has spoken out after two years.

Andrew Bennett, 45, shot to fame on season 12 of the hit TV show — but it all changed when he was attacked outside a bar in December 2018.

He told Mirror Online it was a "significant day" when his attacker Adam King pleaded guilty to actual bodily harm at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court last Friday.

King must carry out 80 hours of unpaid work, pay £1,500 in compensation and £85 in costs to the Crown Prosecution Service.

His unprovoked attack caused Andrew significant physical and mental trauma, including a broken back.

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"I've had PTSD, depression, anxiety, flashbacks to that night. It's like a waking nightmare," he said.

"Being on TV, being a party person and being used to do a lot of horse riding, then to have everything taken away was daunting."

Andrew was left in "debilitating pain" after he was sent "flying in the air into the middle of the road" in the assault on December 1, 2018.

The star remembers King running in his direction before he was swept off his feet into the middle of the road, where he was kicked and punched.

His friends were inside the bar when the terrifying attack took place.

He was rushed to Sunderland Royal hospital in the early hours with nasty injuries and in "debilitating pain", and needed help getting from bed to the toilet.

"I went from being so independent and life on track with lovely things happening to bang," he said.

His loyal pals came to visit him at his hospital bed to put a smile on his face throughout the festive season, but Andrew has never felt angry towards his attacker.

The TV sensation was grateful to get where he is now, having had intensive physio as well as strong rehabilitation on a zimmer frame and crutches.

He went on: "I have never felt angry. I'm walking, I'm talking, I had a strong rehabilitation on a zimmer frame and crutches and intensive physio to get where I am now. I didn't have that anger.

"I've had a very stable upbringing, knowing what was right and wrong. Maybe he wasn't fortunate enough to have that."

He added: "I've been through so much trauma. It's had an impact these past two years."

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