Northampton

Corby baseball bat attack victim Francis Gillespie died after 'decline'

An inquest into a man who died 14 years after being left in a "vegetative state" following a baseball bat attack has returned a narrative verdict.

Francis Gillespie from Corby, Northamptonshire, was attacked outside a nightclub in the town in 2002.

He needed 24-hour care until he died in 2016 at a Daventry care home, aged 53.

Coroner Anne Pember said it was "not possible" to conclusively state what killed Mr Gillespie, but his condition "had been declining" for almost a year.

Three people were sentenced for their part in the attack.

Brothers Matthew McGrath and James McGrath, both of Corby, admitted conspiracy to harm Mr Gillespie as he left a nightclub in the town and were jailed for eight and nine years respectively in June 2003.

Their sentences were later reduced by one year each following an appeal, while their mother Jacqueline Magee, also of Corby, was sentenced to eight years for her part in the attack.

Epileptic fits

Mr Gillespie - a supporter of Glasgow Celtic Football Club - had lived in the Northamptonshire town for most of his life, where he worked in the steel industry.

Speaking at the inquest at Northampton Coroner's Court, Dr Charles Rose said the victim suffered from "post-traumatic epilepsy" as a result of the attack, causing seizures.

A post-mortem examination could find no evidence of a "natural disease process to explain why Mr Gillespie died". It added that no new injuries were found.

Equally, there was no evidence to prove that the brain injuries he suffered in 2002 ultimately caused his death, on 10 January 2016, the coroner ruled.

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