On 8th December 2011, Cain's daughter Debbie Dingle kicked Cain out of her house as she didn't feel safe around him. Cain later went to The Woolpack for a drink but didn't get served, insulting the attendees, including John Barton before he left. Cain tries to reside at Marlon Dingle's house for the night, however, on his way there, he is attacked with a crowbar by an unseen assailant. Badly beaten, Cain tries to get up but is then whacked on the head. Soon afterwards, Cameron Murray is driving when he spots Jai standing over Cain's lifeless body at the side of the road. Clearly shaken, Jai claims he found Cain in this state. Fearing Cain is dead, Cameron calls an ambulance and is shocked as Jai quickly leaves the scene. An ambulance is called and Cain is rushed to hospital.
- Moira Barton - Cain had an affair with Moira, obstructing her marriage.
- John Barton - Cain tried to end his marriage by having an affair with Moira. John was the first suspect in the investigation as he had a fight with Cain hours before he was attacked.
- Charity Tate - After Charity ended hers and Cain's relationship in early 2011 Cain started harassing her, not taking no for an answer and insisted on ending her relationship with Jai.
- Jai Sharma - Cain mounted a terror campaign against Jai and harassed his family, causing him and Charity to break up, not being able to cope wih the stress. Jai was also the first to find Cain following the attack, but ran off after Cameron Murray caught him standing over Cain.
- Amy Wyatt - Cain got 15-year-old Amy pregnant over a one-night stand and kept pressuring her to terminate her pregnancy, but she refused. Amy was also the last person to see Cain before he was attacked.
- Zak Dingle - Cain's father Zak was growing tired of Cain's behaviour and thought he needed to be taught a lesson after his wrongdoings.
Other characters who were presumed suspects include:
- Holly Barton
- Adam Barton
- Cameron Murray
- Chas Dingle
- Lisa Dingle
- Declan Macey
- Nikhil Sharma
- Priya Sharma
- Debbie Dingle
Aftermath of the attackEdit
John was initially arrested for the attack after Moira reveals to one of the investigating officers how John hurt his hand but is later released due to lack of evidence. Meanwhile, Cain takes a turn for the worse and it is discovered that he has a clot on the brain and needs urgent surgery, which goes well. When Cain from his coma, he attempted to frame Jai for the attack, telling Charity along with his sister and nephew Chas and Aaron that Jai was the one who attacked him. This caused the Dingles, including Cain and Charity's daughter Debbie, to exclude Charity from the family, believing she knew of Jai's action but was covering for him. Matters were made worse when she revealed she'd found Cain prior to Jai but left him for dead after everything he'd done to her.
On 5th January 2012, Cain's father, Zak, revealed he was the one who attacked Cain in an attempt to convince Cain to drop the charges against Jai and stop harassing him and Charity. Zak admitted that he'd wanted to teach his son a lesson for his bad behaviour and treatment of other people. Cain couldn't believe his own father would do that to his son but agreed to drop his charges against Jai, resulting in the family forgiving him and Charity.
- In autumn 2011, it was announced that the show's serial villain Cain Dingle would be attacked by a mystery assailant. A special trailer was released showing Cain walking through the village at night past various villagers that he has made enemies with over the past year including Amy Wyatt, the Barton family, Cameron Murray, Cain's own family and the Sharmas, ending with Cain being followed by an unknown person seen only from behind.
- The storyline which saw Cain get his comeuppance proved popular with viewers and soap critics.
- A viewers' poll was devised so that viewers could vote for who they thought was the culprit. John Barton was proven viewers' favourite to be unmasked as the assailant, receiving 26.3% of the vote, followed by Amy Wyatt with 19.9%, Zak Dingle with 17.3%, Moira Barton with 16.3%, Charity Tate with 10.4% and Jai Sharma with 9.8%.