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Jury hears reasons for attack on seaman

PUBLISHED: 10:44 21 May 2008 | UPDATED: 20:26 05 July 2010

A MAN accused of murdering a seaman who died three years after a vicious attack left him in a persistent vegetative state punched and kicked him because he thought he was a child abuser, a court heard.

A MAN accused of murdering a seaman who died three years after a vicious attack left him in a persistent vegetative state punched and kicked him because he thought he was a child abuser, a court heard.

Daniel Gorman, 22, was originally charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent on Edward Nelson and when he gave evidence at his trial in 2004 he told a jury that something had “clicked” in his head when he was told that Mr Nelson was a “nonce” - someone who molested children.

In a transcript of his evidence read to Ipswich Crown Court yesterday, he said he had punched Mr Nelson in the face four times and kicked him twice in the ribs during the attack in September 2003 because he wanted to “teach him a lesson.”

He said he had not intended to cause him serious injury and denied kicking 57-year-old Mr Nelson in the head.

Gorman was found guilty by a jury in May 2004 of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent on Mr Nelson but was re-arrested and charged with murder after Mr Nelson died in June 2006 from pneumonia brought on by his persistent vegetative state.

Gorman, formerly of Normanston Drive, Lowestoft, but now living in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, has denied murdering Mr Nelson, who was an alcoholic.

It has been alleged that on September 28, 2003, Mr Nelson was viciously kicked and punched at his home in London Road South, Lowestoft by Gorman and another man called Mark “Bomber” Harris.

On the afternoon in question Gorman and Mr Harris had been drinking at a neighbouring flat and had allegedly gone into Mr Nelson's flat and attacked him because they thought he was a “nonce”.

Karim Khalil QC, prosecuting, said there was nothing to suggest that was the case.

Mr Nelson suffered serious head injuries and was found unconscious in his flat by a friend. He was later diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state with a life expectancy of two to five years.

Yesterday the jury in the murder trial heard that Harris, who is now 37, and another man had originally stood trial with Gorman in 2004 accused of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent on Mr Nelson but the case against them had been stopped by the judge because of insufficient evidence.

Harris had admitted assaulting Mr Nelson causing him actual bodily harm and had been jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Gorman's trial continues today.

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