Man sentenced in landmark case

A 22-YEAR-OLD man jailed for an horrific attack on a former seaman must remain behind bars until the authorities are satisfied he is no longer a danger to the public.

Danielle Nuttall

A 22-YEAR-OLD man jailed for an horrific attack on a former seaman must remain behind bars until the authorities are satisfied he is no longer a danger to the public.

Daniel Gorman appeared at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday to be sentenced for the manslaughter of 57-year-old Edward Nelson.

Gorman, formerly of Normanston Drive, Lowestoft, had been sent to a young offender's institution for six years in 2004 after being found guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent on Mr Nelson in September 2003.


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Mr Nelson, who used to work on fishing boats, had been left in a permanent vegetative state after the attack and was living in a care home near Lowestoft.

Gorman was later charged with murder after Mr Nelson, of London Road South, Lowestoft, died in 2006 as a result of pneumonia directly linked to injuries he suffered in the attack.

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However, a jury cleared Gorman of murder and instead found him guilty of manslaughter.

He was the first person in Suffolk to face trial under a law change, which abolished a rule that someone could only be charged with murder if their victim died within a year and a day of an attack.

Sentencing Gorman yesterday, Judge John Devaux ordered him to serve four-and-a-half-years of a nine-year sentence.

Gorman has already spent 1,711 days in prison which means he is now entitled to seek release. However, Judge Devaux said only when the parole board was satisfied he was no longer a danger to the public would he be released.

He told the defendant: “There is no doubt you had and, I fear, continue to have, a propensity to resort to violence. I do conclude there is significant risk to the public of you causing death or serious personal injury.”

In his trial, the court heard how Gorman, whose last address was given as Longfield Road, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, allegedly carried out the attack because of unfounded allegations Mr Nelson was a child molester.

Gorman had admitted to the jury he had punched Mr Nelson in the face four times and kicked him twice in the ribs but blamed another man for causing the head injuries.

Andrew Jefferies, defending Gorman, told the court that his client had already served the equivalent of a 10-year prison sentence.

“He was a very young immature boy who was in the company of a man he had only met the day before and no doubt got caught along with an enterprise he really ought not to have done but got sucked along.

“At the time, he was heavily involved in drugs,” he said.

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