Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Father's relief as thug is jailed for leaving man in coma

The father of a Londonderry man who was left in a coma following a savage beating spoke last night of his family’s satisfaction at the sentencing of one of the attackers.

But Jim McCauley, whose son Paul has been in a vegetative state since the attack almost three years ago, said his son’s life expectancy “is likely to be less than the sentence” handed down in a Belfast court yesterday.

Paul McCauley (32) sustained multiple injuries, including a brain haemorrhage and a fractured skull, when he and two friends were beaten by a gang of youths in the Chapel Road area of the Waterside in the early hours of July 16, 2006.

Yesterday, Daryl Proctor (18), from Derry’s Fountain estate, was sentenced to 12 years detention in a young offender’s centre for his part in the sectarian attack.

Belfast Crown Court heard how Mr McCauley, a father-of-one, had been chatting with friends at a barbeque when a group of youths attacked them.

Mr McCauley suffered two heart attacks on his way to hospital and remains in a vegetative state. The court heard that Mr McCauley’s condition is unlikely to improve and he will require full-time care for the rest of his life.

Proctor was also told he would serve a year on probation when he is released from Hydebank Young Offender’s Centre.

Paul’s father Jim said the sentence imposed by the court reflected the “severity of the crime”, but added that his son's life expectancy “is likely to be less than the sentence”.

“The family is satisfied this part of the case has concluded but are aware that a number of perpetrators have not yet been brought to book,” said Mr McCauley, adding that “overall, it has been a just outcome for the hard work of the police over many months”.

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