Cornish fisherman guilty of murder

06/03/2012

CPS South West brought Brian Leslie Harrison back to court to face a charge of murder, four years after he was convicted of grievous bodily harm on a victim who later died. Today he was found guilty of the murder of Neville Dunn by a jury at Truro Crown Court.

CPS Crown Advocate, Julian Herbert said: "A change in the law, resulting in the abolition of the 'Year and a Day Rule', allows people to be charged with a different offence for the same attack if the victim later dies as a result of their injuries.

"This was a very unusual case for the CPS and we felt, together with the investigating police officers, that it was right that the enormity of taking a man's life should be reflected by further proceedings even after Harrison had already been convicted and sentenced for the original assault.

"This was a tragic case and our thoughts are today with Mr Dunn's family."

Harrison attacked Mr Dunn on New Years Eve 2007, punching and kicking him until he lost consciousness. He stood trial at Truro Crown Court in July 2008, having entered a not guilty plea to the original charge of grievous bodily harm. He was found guilty and handed an indeterminate custodial sentence, to serve a minimum of six years. He was found not guilty of an additional charge of attempted murder.

Mr Dunn sustained serious head injuries during the attack and remained in a coma until his death on 17 October 2009 at Diana Princess of Wales Hospital, Grimsby. In January 2011, the Attorney General gave the CPS consent to bring a charge of murder against Harrison.

 
Notes to editors:

  • Section 2(4) of the Law Reform (Year and a Day Rule) Act 1996 requires that before further proceedings (such as a prosecution for murder) may be taken against a person who has previously been convicted of an offence in circumstances alleged to be connected with the death, the consent of the Attorney General must be obtained.
  • The consent of Her Majesty's Attorney General to the bringing of a charge of murder in this case was obtained on 8 January 2011.
  • The defendant was produced from HMP Dartmoor on 16 March 2011 to Truro Magistrates' Court where he was charged with murder. He subsequently appeared before Truro Crown Court where he was convicted on 6 March 2012. He is due to be sentenced on 7 March at 10am.