BEATEN senseless, shopkeeper David Basrai lies in a hospital bed recovering from a vicious assault at the hands of robbers.
The 49-year-old has a fractured skull, bleeding to the brain and a suspected broken jaw after he was attacked with a weapon at his convenience store.
Today, his wife of 26 years, Karan, said: “He was left for dead.”
Dad-of-four Mr Basrai was locking up his shop on Friday night when the two raiders got in through the back door and subjected him to a savage beating.
The thugs dragged him into the Oxclose shop in Oxclose Village Centre to continue the attack before they made off with cash and cigarettes. They also trashed the store.
“He was left unconscious and covered in blood,” added Mrs Basrai, 46.
“He was left to die.
“It could have been a murder scene in here.
“He’s stable now but because of the head injuries they are watching him closely.”
The shop is now open after being closed since the attack and Mrs Basrai is calling on customers to visit them.
She said: “All the community is shocked by it. He is such a pleasant family man who looks after his family.
Mrs Basrai also called on anyone with information to come forward.
“Somebody must know something,” she said.
“The ones who did it must have been covered in blood.
“It could be a wife or girlfriend or parent but they must know something.”
Detective Sergeant Neil Wynd, who is investigating the incident, said: “We’re releasing these photographs to show the severity of the victim’s injuries in the hope it will encourage someone to come forward with information about this crime.
“This was a nasty attack that has left the victim in hospital suffering serious injuries and we’re determined to find whoever is responsible.
“No matter how insignificant people think the information they have is we’d urge them to contact police.”
Neighbourhood Inspector Paul Barrett, who covers Washington, said: “Extra officers will be in the area to answer any concerns people do have, and if anyone has any information I’d urge them to contact police.”
The men are described as being in their late 20s or early 30s.
They both spoke with local accents and were wearing dark clothing with scarves around their faces.
The incident happened at around 9pm on Friday.
Those with information should contact Northumbria Police on 03456 043 043 ext 69191 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.