Two men have today (Thursday) been found guilty of causing the death of a man from Luton, after they attacked him outside his house in August 2013.
Henry Huggins, 49, was left in a coma after being assaulted by Stuart Docherty and James Early, both 43, of Whipperley Ring, Luton, on 8 August 2013. He then spent almost two years in a coma before he died on 10 June 2015.
Mr Huggins was initially assaulted by Early in a dispute over his dog, outside his home in Whipperley Ring. He was punched to the ground, before Docherty arrived and stamped on his head – causing catastrophic brain damage.
Both men were originally convicted of assaulting Mr Huggins, but his death triggered a re-trial of the pair on more serious charges at Luton Crown Court.
Docherty, who was initially found guilty of grievous bodily harm, has now been found guilty of murder.
Early was convicted of manslaughter. He had been found guilty of actual bodily harm at the original trial.
Detective Inspector Fraser Wylie, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said: “Although both men had already been found guilty previously in relation to this atrocious attack, they refused to accept the blame for his death, pleading not guilty to murder and manslaughter and putting Henry’s family and friends through the trauma of a further trial.
“This was a sickeningly violent and completely unnecessary assault. Despite Henry already being on the floor as a result of Early’s punches, Docherty jumped several times on his head with clear intent to cause him maximum harm.
“I’m pleased that the jury have today confirmed our findings that these two men directly caused Henry’s tragic death. I hope that this brings the family some sense of justice - although it can never of course make up for the loss and devastation they have experienced since the attack almost four years ago.”
Docherty is currently serving a sentence of 12 years for grievous bodily harm in relation to the assault. He will be resentenced for murder later in June.
Early had previously served a two and a half year sentence for the actual bodily harm of Henry Huggins. He will be sentenced for manslaughter later in June and has been remanded in custody.