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New trial after victim's death

PUBLISHED: 12:04 20 May 2008 | UPDATED: 20:25 05 July 2010

A man is standing trial accused of the murder of a former fisherman after previously being convicted of attacking him, a court has heard.

In May 2004, Daniel Gorman was sentenced to six years in a young offenders' institution when he was found guilty of wounding 57-year-old Edward Nelson in Lowestoft.

A man is standing trial accused of the murder of a former fisherman after previously being convicted of attacking him, a court has heard.

In May 2004, Daniel Gorman was sentenced to six years in a young offenders' institution when he was found guilty of wounding 57-year-old Edward Nelson in Lowestoft.

Mr Nelson was left in a persistent vegetative state and, after he died in June 2006, a fresh charge of murder was brought against Gorman, 22.

Gorman, formerly of Normanston Drive, Lowestoft, denies the charge and yesterday he faced an Ipswich Crown Court jury for the second time as his trial got under way.

Karim Khalil, prosecuting, told jurors that details of Gorman's previous conviction for grievous bodily harm would assist them in deciding if he was guilty of murder.

He said that alcoholic Mr Nelson was allegedly attacked by two men, including Gorman, over unfounded accusations that he was a child molester.

“On the Sunday afternoon of September 28, 2003, Edward Nelson was viciously attacked by the use of fists and feet in his home,” said Mr Khalil.

“Mr Nelson suffered serious head injuries and was later described as being in a persistent vegetative state, with a very limited life expectancy of two to five years. Sadly, he was later to fulfil that life expectancy.”

Medical reports showed that Mr Nelson died of pneumonia, brought on by his condition.

The court was told that Gorman, now of Harpenden, in Hertfordshire, was visiting people who were drinking in a neighbouring flat to Mr Nelson's in London Road South.

It is alleged that Mark Harris initially attacked Mr Nelson, who he accused of being a “nonce” - slang term for a child molester.

Mr Khalil claimed Gorman later told police “I flipped my lid” when he heard of the allegations against Mr Nelson and carried out his own attack.

Gorman surrendered himself to St Albans' police on November 1 and allegedly told an officer: “If it is that nonce in Lowestoft you want me for, he deserved it.”

However, the court heard that the arresting officer did not follow correct procedures by showing him a copy of what he is alleged to have said.

Jurors also heard about a letter Gorman sent to his cousin while he was on remand in prison in which he said he was facing up to four years in prison because he “beat up” a man.

“We say he acknowledged directly and expressed to someone his involvement in attacking that man and his fears to the consequences,” added Mr Khalil.

Mark Harris, of Lyndhurst Road, Lowestoft, was jailed for two-and-a-half years in May 2004 after admitting causing Mr Nelson actual bodily harm. He was aged 33 at the time of his conviction.

The court heard that Mr Nelson had worked on fishing boats but was forced to give up because of an alcohol problem which saw him drink up to six litres of cider a day.

Gorman's trial continues.

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