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Home / Latest News / Jack Widdowson: ‘I just want to put what happened behind me’

Jack Widdowson: ‘I just want to put what happened behind me’

A ballet dancer who was left for dead in a vicious attack by an illegal immigrant said he is determined to put his horrifying ordeal behind him.

Jack Widdowson suffered a broken neck after being set upon by 28-year-old Mohammed Ali Mohamoed in Cardiff last year.

Doctors had feared the promising dancer would never be able to walk again – let alone perform.

But he has gone on to make a “miracle” recovery and this weekend will be performing at Glastonbury while his attacker begins a 13-year prison term.

Mr Widdowson said: “I’m extremely excited about performing at Glastonbury this weekend. After that I’m going to do teaching courses in Paris and Israel before starting a new job in Germany in August.

“I just want to put what happened to me behind me.”

Mr Widdowson, one of the youngest apprentices to be taken on by the Swiss company Bern Ballett, was in Cardiff last year visiting his brother at university.

Following a night out, he was making his way back home when Mohamoed staged a violent and vicious robbery.

Before leaving the budding stage star for dead with a broken neck, Mohamoed then made off with the teenager’s Apple iPhone.

Mohammed Ali Mohamoed

The day before  the attack 19-year-old Mr Widdowson had learned he had been called up as an understudy for a leading ballet role.

Mohamoed was later arrested at his home in Splott, Cardiff. When he first arrived in the UK he claimed to be a Palestinian refugee, but detectives later discovered he was in fact an Egyptian national whose farmer parents still live in the country.

During his trial, Cardiff Crown Court heard Mohamoed had admitted theft, but denied attacking Widdowson – claiming Mr Widdowson was unharmed when he had last seen him.

Court officials said Mohamoed was yesterday cleared of attempted murder but found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm.

He will serve half his sentence in the UK before being deported to Egypt to serve the remaining six and a half years.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it was pleased with the outcome of the trial.

CPS district prosecutor Rhodri Thomas said: “Mohammed Ali Mohamoed carried out an appalling attack that left his innocent victim with potentially life threatening or life changing injuries.

“As a prosecution team, we have been heartened to learn of the speed and extent of Jack Widdowson’s physical recovery from his injuries, but this in no way detracts from the seriousness of the attack carried out by Mohamoed. Nor does it lessen the impact of Mohamoed’s actions on Jack and those close to him.

“Thankfully, Mohamoed has now been brought to justice for this despicable attack and we hope this will be of some comfort to Jack as he continues to rebuild his life.”

The family of Jack Widdowson give a statement outside court
The family of Jack Widdowson give a statement outside court


Mr Widdowson’s parents, who have since set up a charity called the Dance Again Foundation, praised their son for his bravery.

They said in a statement: “Jack has made an amazing recovery from a horrific injury and we would like to thank the many people who have helped to achieve that.

“He has been performing for some time now and has already performed publicly on a number of occasions.

“We and he are just delighted that he has been able to resume his career as a dancer despite what happened to him.

“We can now put this behind us and we’re looking forward to continuing to support Jack and all our children in their careers.”

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