Neighbour attacked at home dies after two years in a coma
AMAN 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 on Thursday, November 9.
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 Staffordshire bull terrier-cross’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”
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 known as 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.”
> Matthew Sheehan was left in a coma, left, after the brutal attack by neighbour Raymond Burrell, right, in a barking dog row
> Disabled Matthew Sheehan has died from his injuries