Murder investigation launched after man dies almost a decade after Christmas Eve assault

Murder investigation launched after man dies almost a decade after Christmas Eve assault

POLICE have launched a murder investigation after a man died almost a decade after being attacked in an unprovoked assault.

Ashley McGurk, 32, was seriously assaulted whilst walking home from a party in Harpurhey, Manchester, England on Christmas Eve 2011.

He spent several months in a coma and was left severely brain damaged.

Mr McGurk, who was also known as Ashley Thomas, was living in a care home when he died on January 8, 2021, just over nine years after the attack.

Now, a pathologist's report has confirmed that the 2011 assault was the cause of death, prompting GMP to reopen the matter as a murder investigation.

'We want this nightmare to end'

"Visiting my own son every day in his care facilities was absolutely heartbreaking to see and cope with for 10 long years and to know we still don't have justice so many years on is so devastating," said Mr McGurk's mother.

"Both Ashley and his family deserve justice which is why I would ask anyone to come forward with information.

"We want this nightmare to end once and for all."

Three arrests were made at the time and two males were released with no further action taken.

One male was charged but the case was dismissed by the court.

'Unimaginable emotional pain'

Detective Sergeant Paddy Connell, from the City of Manchester Division CID, described Mr McGurk's injuries as 'horrific'.

"This was a devastating incident for Ashley's family and we believe there will be people in the local area with information about the reported assault at the time that may be able to help Ashley's family get the justice they deserve," he said.

"Ashley suffered such horrific injuries that he spent the last 10 years of his life in care facilities and was regularly visited by his mother who has suffered unimaginable emotional pain since the assault and has visited him every day over the last 10 years."

DS Connell has asked anyone with any information, no matter how small it may seem, to contact police on 0161 856 4409, quoting crime reference number CRI/06A1/0001614/21.

"Someone out there will know something and I would urge them to get in touch — even if it's anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111," he added.