Man admits murdering Birkenhead market trader who died after brutal attack in own homeA MAN has admitted murdering a Birkenhead market trader who died more than two years after he was horrifically attacked in his own home.
Ahmed Bashir, 63, was left a tetraplegic – unable to move from the neck down – after suffering injuries consistent with a "high-velocity traffic accident" in the attack by Gerard Murphy in August 2007.
Murphy later admitted breaking into Mr Bashir’s home in The Woodlands, Birkenhead, and assaulting him with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm.
He was jailed indefinitely in January 2008 and ordered to serve a minimum of 11 years for the brutal assault.
But when Mr Bashir died at Manchester Royal Infirmary two years later, in August 2009, Murphy was brought out of prison and charged with his murder.
The 34-year-old, formerly of no fixed address, appeared at Liverpool crown court via video-link from Dovegate prison in Staffordshire and pleaded guilty to the charge.
Keith Sutton, defending, asked the court to sentence Murphy immediately at his request so that he did not have to leave jail – but Judge Gerald Clifton refused the request and ordered Murphy be brought to court on Monday for sentencing.
He said: "Murders should be dealt with in court, not over the video-link."
The judge said in the "very unusual circumstances" of the case, he would have to consider the starting sentence for the offence, then reduce it for Murphy’s guilty plea and for the time he had already served.
But he added he would have to take into consideration the fact the attack was "for gain".
During sentencing in 2008, prosecutors said Murphy targeted Mr Bashir, who ran a market stall in Birkenhead selling clothes, because he believed he did not bank his money. After taking a cocktail of drugs and alcohol, Murphy broke into Mr Bashir’s home – but he was spotted and a struggle broke out, during which Mr Bashir suffered severe head and neck injuries.
He was later found curled up and moaning in pain by two fellow traders.
He remained in a coma for months and doctors said his most serious injury was a fractured dislocation of his cervical spine and ligament damage, which left him paralysed. He used a ventilator for the rest of his life.
Sentencing Murphy for the attack in 2008, Judge Clifton told him: "Your victim did what little he could to protect himself when you attacked him.
"The difference in your physique was enormous. You are a big, powerful man and you broke his spine. In layman’s terms, you virtually murdered him. You left without showing a glimmer of humanity to this kind, well-loved, elderly man."
The court heard Mr Bashir’s family did not want to attend court. THE ECHO