Man arrested: Bern dancer critically injured in Cardiff attack (update 3)

Widdowson in his first major part with Bern-Ballett last Thursday night (photo©2011, Stadttheater/Philipp Zinniker)

Family and police press conference Tuesday evening 8 November

BERN, SWITZERLAND -A 23-year-old man was arrested Wednesday in Broadway, Roath, Cardiff and charged with assault and robbery following an incident in the early hours of Saturday 4 November that left a 19-year-old in critical condition.

Jack Widdowson, a member of Bern:Ballett which performs at the city’s Stadttheatre, is in critical condition, possibly with a broken neck, following the brutal attack in Cardiff city centre in Wales. The attack occurred about 00:45 Saturday and appears to have happened after a man befriended him in the docks area and suggested a shortcut. Widdowson’s iPhone and other possessions were stolen and have not been recovered, according to Cardiff police.

“Police believe Mr Widdowson was targeted during a night out in the city centre with his brother, a former semi-professional rugby player who is now studying at Cardiff University,” Walesonline reports. “It is believed his attacker befriended him as he walked in the vicinity of Bute Terrace around 00.45am, before leading him to a canal-side footpath where he was brutally mugged and assaulted.”

Police continue to ask the public for help in the investigation (details and contact).

The young dancer had recovered three years earlier from a severe case of meningitis, according to the news site, and had danced with a London company before joining Bern:Ballett. His family lives in Bath, England.

His father, Dr Julian Widdowson, is head of sports medicine at Premiership Rugby Club in Bath.

He told the Daily Mail that Jack was able to use dancing, which he had started in his early teens, to control one weakness left over from the bacterial meningitis attack, a tremor in his upper limbs.

He had recovered from the illness through what his father told the Daily Mail was a “punishing programme of rehab”, noting that Jack had always been active in sports, representing his school in hockey and in rugby, playing as a prop.

Waleonline (Western Mail) updated story

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  1. […] received from Cathy Marston, choreographer-director, Bern-Ballett, following our article about a vicious attack on 19-year-old dancer Jack Widdowson in the centre of Cardiff Saturday night 4 November. He remains in critical condition. Art-TV […]