AS­SAULT VIC­TIM DIES AF­TER BE­ING LEFT IN A COMA FOR TWO YEARS

South Wales Echo - - FRONT PAGE - RUTH MOSALSKI Re­porter ruth.mosalski@waleson­line.co.uk

A MAN who was bru­tally as­saulted on his doorstep has died af­ter spend­ing two years in a coma as a re­sult of the at­tack.

Matthew Shee­han was 34 when he was pulled into the street in Adams­down, Cardiff, by 15-stone Ray­mond An­thony Bur­rell who punched, kicked and stamped on him.

Thug Bur­rell left his vic­tim in a coma for more than two years. It has now been con­firmed that Mr Shee­han died last Thurs­day.

The at­tack, on Septem­ber 1, 2015, was in a dis­pute over a bark­ing dog.

Bur­rell, now 40, had been “ir­ri­tated” by Mr Shee­han com­plain­ing about his cross-Stafford­shire bull ter­rier’s bark­ing.

In the at­tack Mr Shee­han, who walked with a stick, was dragged bare­foot and with­out his glasses into the street be­fore be­ing at­tacked.

He was left with frac­tures to his nose and one eye socket, swelling to his mouth, and bruis­ing to both sides of his brain with bleed­ing caused by blood ves­sels from the brain be­ing stretched and torn.

He also had marks to his body con­sis­tent with him be­ing dragged, like those seen “on some­body who has come off a mo­tor­bike”, and there was the im­print of a shoe.

A pathol­o­gist told Bur­rell’s trial there had been “sig­nif­i­cant force” used.

The court was also told Bur­rell walked away from his vic­tim but then re­turned to where he had left him ly­ing in a pool of blood and at­tacked him a sec­ond time so he would “not be able to tes­tify to what hap­pened”.

In April 2016 Bur­rell was given a life sen­tence by Judge Paul Thomas QC with a rec­om­men­da­tion he serve a min­i­mum eight years be­fore be­ing al­lowed to ap­ply for pa­role.

A jury had ac­quit­ted him of at­tempted mur­der but con­victed him of caus­ing griev­ous bod­ily harm with in­tent.

Dur­ing the trial, his vic­tim was de­scribed as hav­ing been left with “hor­ren­dous in­juries” to his head and body.

The judge said Bur­rell – who had pre­vi­ously shot and killed his girl­friend – had a “vol­canic tem­per and a cal­lous in­dif­fer­ence to hu­man life”.

Speak­ing dur­ing the court case, Mr Shee­han’s fa­ther Martin said his son had been left in a veg­e­ta­tive state.

“While he can now breathe un­aided for a short time each hour he is still on oxy­gen, has a breath­ing tube and is hav­ing to be reg­u­larly med­i­cated to stave off in­fec­tions.

“He can­not recog­nise friends or fam­ily and we’ve been told the doc­tors ex­pect him to be to­tally re­liant on med­i­cal care for many years to come mean­ing he won’t be able to do any­thing for him­self.

“The life he had has been taken away by Ray­mond Bur­rell.

“We can’t be­lieve Ray­mond Bur­rell has put us through such agony.

“It’s like he put us in hell when he hurt and left Matthew for dead, then he dragged us through hell dur­ing the trial – in ef­fect he dou­bled our suf­fer­ing.”

Mr Shee­han added: “All we can do is hold his hand.”

A po­lice spokes­woman said yes­ter­day: “We are aware of the sad pass­ing of Matthew Shee­han, 36, on Thurs­day, Novem­ber 9, at the Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal of Wales, Cardiff.

“The South Wales Po­lice ma­jor in­ves­ti­ga­tion team is now li­ais­ing with Mr Shee­han’s fam­ily, the Crown Pros­e­cu­tion Ser­vice and HM Coroner in re­spect of his death.

“Any­one with in­for­ma­tion is asked to con­tact South Wales Po­lice on 101 or Crimestop­pers anony­mously on 0800 555 111 quot­ing oc­cur­rence num­ber 1500321067.”

Mr Shee­han had a con­di­tion called cere­bel­lar ataxia which caused him to be un­steady on his feet and to use a crutch when he went out.

Speak­ing at the time of Bur­rell’s con­vic­tion, the fam­ily said their lives had been “turned up­side down”.

“It is dif­fi­cult for us to un­der­stand how some­one could in­flict such hor­rific in­juries on an­other per­son – more so on a vul­ner­a­ble per­son who can’t even de­fend them­selves.

“And when it is your own flesh and blood it has hap­pened to it is even harder to deal with.”

Bur­rell had pre­vi­ously been jailed for seven years for shoot­ing his teenage girl­friend through the heart.

Cardiff Crown Court ac­cepted his guilty plea at the time to a charge of man­slaugh­ter af­ter hear­ing a gun, which Bur­rell had on him il­le­gally, was dis­charged ac­ci­den­tally dur­ing the in­ci­dent in 1993.

Amie Miles, 17, was shot out­side a flat in the Grange­town area of the city af­ter re­turn­ing from her part­time job as a bar­maid.

The jury in that trial heard Bur­rell left the scene leav­ing his dy­ing girl­friend to call an am­bu­lance.

The court heard when Bur­rell was 16 he stabbed two night­club door­men in Cardiff af­ter be­ing re­fused en­try to a club.

WALES NEWS SER­VICE

Matthew Shee­han has died af­ter be­ing in a coma for two years af­ter he was at­tacked on his doorstep

Matthew Shee­han in hos­pi­tal af­ter the at­tack

Ray­mond An­thony Bur­rell

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