A MURDERER has been jailed for life after the man he brutally battered died almost two years after being subjected to two sickening attacks.
Hartlepool-born Neville Dunn was repeatedly kicked in the head on two separate occasions as he lay on the ground on New Year’s Eve in 2007 – leaving him in a permanent semi-conscious state and requiring round-the-clock care.
His attacker, fisherman Brian Harrison, 31, was given an indeterminate sentence for public protection in 2008, but has now been imprisoned for life with a minimum of 16 years at Truro Crown Court.
Fellow fisherman Mr Dunn, whom amphetamine-user Harrison wrongly believed had raped his girlfriend after he admitted having a one-night stand with her, died from his injuries in October 2009 aged 44.
Mr Dunn’s family branded his killer “disgusting” for smirking at them during the trial and treating it as a “one big hilarious joke”.
Denise Johnson, a former partner of Mr Dunn, who spent much of his final 22 months in hospital at his side, attended court with his daughter, Kirsty, 21, and his stepson ,Jason Sutcliffe, 38.
She said: “They could have locked him up and thrown away the key and it wouldn’t have made it right for us. But we are pleased with the verdict.
“I think that (Harrison) is absolutely disgusting.”
Mr Dunn was born in Hartlepool but grew up in Grimsby before he moved to Cornwall to work as a fisherman in Newlyn.
He had admitted to Harrison a week before the attack that he had slept with his former partner. But the court heard Harrison convinced himself that Mr Dunn had raped her.
Harrison confronted them both at his former partner’s home in Penzance, Cornwall, and attacked Mr Dunn, leaving him severely injured.
He then drove him to the nearby home of his ex-partner’s mother, where he repeatedly kicked him in the head before telling her to call him an ambulance.
Harrison, formerly of Gwavas Estate, Newlyn, was cleared of attempted murder, but convicted of grievous bodily harm and jailed for a minimum of six years after the trial in 2008.
He had his new sentence backdated to January 1, 2008, the date he was arrested for the original attack.
Mr Justice Burnett, passing the latest sentence, said: “There is no remorse in this case. You told (a friend) after the attack that Neville got what he deserved. I have seen nothing that tells me you have changed this view.”