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Killer jailed indefinitely

PUBLISHED: 12:33 11 July 2008 | UPDATED: 20:51 05 July 2010

The sister of a man who died more than 3½ years after being attacked saw her brother's killer jailed indefinitely yesterday.

Daniel Gorman, 22, was yesterday given an indeterminate sentence for manslaughter in order to protect the public.

The sister of a man who died more than 3½ years after being attacked saw her brother's killer jailed indefinitely yesterday.

Daniel Gorman, 22, was yesterday given an indeterminate sentence for manslaughter in order to protect the public. He was one of two men involved in the killing of Edward Nelson, 57, in Lowestoft in September 2003. Gorman had said he believed the alcoholic former fisherman was a child molester, although there is no evidence for this.

The judge at Ipswich Crown Court ordered he should serve a minimum sentence of nine years, but as he had already served more than half of that he could be released whenever he was considered safe - but currently he was believed to be a high risk to the public. He is likely to remain on licence for the rest of his life.

The other man involved in the attack was sentenced in 2004 to 2½ years in prison for causing actual bodily harm, and has been released.

Gorman's is the first such case in Suffolk since the abolition in 1996 of the rule which said someone could only be tried with murder if the victim died within a year and a day of the attack. There was a similar case in Norfolk earlier this year. Mr Nelson died of pneumonia linked to his condition in 2006.

Last night, Trina Davies, Mr Nelson's sister, said: “It was a vicious attack on an innocent man, based on an unfounded rumour. No one deserves to be beaten, least of all to death. Regardless of Edward's lifestyle, he was still a human being.

“Yet he is not the only innocent victim. It not only affects the victim's relatives - seven siblings, a son and two granddaughters - but also the relatives of the defendant.”

She thanked the officers involved in the case for bringing it to court, as well as the James Paget Hospital and Oulton Park Health Care Centre for looking after her brother in the 3½ years he was in a coma.

The court heard Gorman was drinking heavily by the age of 12 and taking drugs by the age of 15. He was expelled from school and was homeless at the time of the attack.

Sentencing Gorman, judge John Devaux told him: “I do conclude that there is a significant risk to the public of your causing death and serious injury by a further offence.”

Chief Insp Steve Mattin said: “It sends a message to criminals: if you commit this kind of offence, you will be brought to justice, even if it is many years later.”

But Gorman's mother, Heidi Brightwell, from Hertfordshire, said her son had been the victim of an injustice. Outside the court, she said: “I know a man has died, and I am really sorry for the lady that has lost her brother. But Daniel did not ask for a solicitor when he was arrested and he incriminated himself by shooting his mouth off. It was just talk. I have no faith in the system.”

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