Northern Ireland

Paul McCauley dies after being beaten in 2006 attack

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Media captionThe investigation into the 2006 attack on Londonderry man Paul McCauley has become a murder investigation after his death on Saturday.

The investigation into the 2006 attack on Londonderry man Paul McCauley has become a murder investigation after his death on Saturday.

The father of one died in the early hours of Saturday in a care unit in Derry. His family was with him.

The civil servant was 29 when he was attacked by a mob at a barbecue in the Waterside in Derry, and never regained consciousness.

Daryl Proctor was convicted of the attack and given a 12-year jail term.

He was released in February this year.

Mr McCauley suffered multiple injuries, including a brain haemorrhage and a fractured skull, when he and two friends were beaten by a gang of youths.

He also had two heart attacks on the way to Altnagelvin Hospital.

Senior Investigating Officer DCI Michael Harvey said: "On behalf of the entire police family, I want to extend our deepest sympathies to the McCauley family following Paul's death.

"They have conducted themselves with great dignity over the past almost nine years since the vicious attack on Paul and his friends. The love and care they gave to Paul have been a beacon of light in a tragically dark set of circumstances."

He added: "In memory of Paul, for the McCauley family and in the interests of justice, police stand ready to explore any opportunities provided, either by a change in circumstances, or a qualm of conscience.

"The investigation remains open and detectives are committed to bringing those responsible to justice."

Foyle MP Mark Durkan said he hopes people with information about the attack will come forward.

Image caption Paul McCauley never regained consciousness after being attacked

"You have to hope at this stage that something would move people," he said.

"If people have had their hearts so hardened to date, or are still locked in their own prejudices, or other sick loyalties that mean they want to harbour people who've done this, maybe now this final tragic news about what has happened to Paul may move or stir someone and would appeal to anybody with any heart to do so."

In 2014 PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton apologised to the McCauley family for not bringing more people to justice for the attack.

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