The family of a man who died as a result of an assault over ten years ago are urging people to come forward with information as the investigation has been reopened.

On Christmas Eve in 2011, 32-year-old Ashley McGurk, but known locally as Ashley Thomas, was seriously assaulted whilst walking home from a party near to Harpurhey shopping precinct and left in a coma for several months.

Ashley, from the Harpurhey area, was left severely brain damaged as a result of an unprovoked attack and was living in a care home in Rochdale before sadly passing away 8 January 2021.

An extensive report from the pathologist has confirmed that the assault 10 years ago proved to be the fatal cause and, upon receipt, GMP reopened the matter as a murder investigation.

Paying tribute, his mother said: “Visiting my own son every day in his care facilities was absolutely heartbreaking to see and cope with for 10 long years and to know we still don’t have justice so many years on is so devastating.

“Both Ashley and his family deserve justice which is why I would ask anyone to come forward with information. We want this nightmare to end once and for all.”

Three arrests were made at the time and two males were released with no further action taken. One male was charged but the case was dismissed by the court.

Detective Sergeant Paddy Connell, from the City of Manchester Division CID, said: “This was a devastating incident for Ashley’s family and we believe there will be people in the local area with information about the reported assault at the time that may be able to help Ashley’s family get the justice they deserve.

“Ashley suffered such horrific injuries that he spent the last 10 years of his life in care facilities and was regularly visited by his mother who has suffered unimaginable emotional pain since the assault and has visited him every day over the last 10 years.

“Anyone with any information – no matter how small it may seem – is asked to contact us on 0161 856 4409 quoting crime reference number CRI/06A1/0001614/21.


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