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New investigation following death of Hook assault victim
The death of a man left comatose after being assaulted two years ago could lead to manslaughter charges for his attacker.
BT engineer Mark Haley, of Holmwood Avenue in Chessington, fell into a coma after he was assaulted by neighbour Michael Broom outside Tesco in Hook Parade on August 21, 2011.
Broom, of Rhodrons Avenue, was sentenced to three years in prison in November 2011, after admitting grievous bodily harm without intent.
But Mr Haley’s death more than two years later at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-Disability in Putney on August 28 this year has launched a fresh investigation.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed the investigation had been referred to its homicide and serious crime command.
If medical reports, including the post-mortem examination, prove the injuries which Mr Haley died of were caused by Broom, he could face manslaughter charges.
Speaking through a family friend, Mr Haley’s wife Jo said she and her sons “really appreciate how the local community have rallied round.”
She also praised the hospital for “not just how well they looked after Mark, but how well they supported the family as well.”
Mrs Haley said at the time of the attack: “The community has been lovely. Everyone just cares. It really does help.
“Everyone has been wonderful and very supportive. It does show there’s a bit of community spirit.”
A BT spokesman said: “We were very sorry to hear of the death of Mark Haley. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.”
The old year-and-a-day rule, after which a death could not be used for a fresh charge, was repealed in 1996.
A Buckinghamshire man, Leigh Clift, from Bletchley, was brought back to court and jailed for life for murder in 2011, after a man he attacked with a screwdriver in 2002 died seven years later.
According to Crown Prosecution Service guidance, the Attorney General would have to give permission for new proceedings to be brought.
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