London

Father and son 'murdered man on Christmas Day'

Richard Cabby
Image caption Richard Cabby survived for two years and two months after the attack

A father died two years after an "utterly brutal" attack on a Christmas morning after he demanded to see his two young children, a court has heard.

Richard Cabby was left paralysed and blind in one eye and died of septicaemia brought about by bedsores, an Old Bailey jury was told.

Matthew Ali, 32, from Romford, Essex, and his father Philip, 54, deny murdering Mr Cabby on 25 December 2005.

They were convicted of attempted murder in January 2007, a year before he died.

Anthony Orchard, prosecuting, said Matthew Ali married Kelly Hall, the mother of Mr Cabby's two children, in January 2005.

He said Mr Cabby did not know where they lived but in the weeks before Christmas 2005 he contacted Miss Hall's mother, Carol Cockburn, and demanded she let him see the children.

Mr Orchard said Mr Cabby, who was known to be a violent man, also threatened to kill Matthew Ali.

He said Mr Ali and his father lured Mr Cabby to his death on the morning of Christmas Day 2005.

Mr Orchard said they rammed his Ford Transit van off the road in Dagenham, east London, dragged him onto the road and set about him with a knife, a baseball bat and a lump hammer.

He said a third man was involved on the attack but has never been identified.

Mr Orchard said: "They committed an act of violence of utter brutality" against Mr Cabby.

His skull and spine were fractured, his lung collapsed, one of his eyeballs was burst and "beyond repair" and he received multiple stab injuries.

Mr Orchard said: "It's remarkable that he survived for more than a few hours. It's only because of the extraordinary skills of the doctors and nurses who cared for him."

He said Mr Cabby was released from hospital four months later and was nursed at home, but he never recovered.

Mr Cabby died in February 2008 - from complications caused by pressure sores - and the pair were subsequently charged with his murder, as the Crown felt his death was directly related to the injuries he suffered.

Mr Orchard said the pair admitted inflicting the horrific injuries on Mr Cabby and the only issue for the jury was whether they were to blame for his subsequent death.

He said: "The pathologist concluded that the fractured spine he suffered led to the pressure sores because he was unable to move and the incontinence he suffered led to septicaemia.

"There is a direct causal link, say the prosecution."

Mr Orchard said Mr Cabby was a difficult patient, because he was frustrated by his condition, and he would sometimes refuse to follow the nurses' and doctors' orders.

He said: "The defendants' case appears to be that it was Richard Cabby's fault that he died. That his death was unrelated to the injuries and was entirely due to his behaviour."

The trial continues.