South East Wales

Man who battered neighbour over bark complaint is jailed

Matthew Sheehan and Raymond Burrell Image copyright South Wales Police
Image caption Matthew Sheehan (left) was left 'in a pool of blood' after being attacked by neighbour Raymond Burrell (right)

A Cardiff man who battered a disabled neighbour who complained about his dog's barking - leaving him in a coma - has been jailed for life.

Raymond Burrell, 38, carried out a "merciless" attack on Matthew Sheehan, 34, outside his Adamsdown home.

He was cleared of attempted murder but convicted of inflicting grievous bodily harm at Cardiff Crown Court.

A judge at Swansea Crown Court ordered that he serve at least eight years before his release be considered.

Sentencing him on Monday, Judge Paul Thomas told Burrell: "Your volcanic temper shows that when you lose it you lose all semblance of human restraint.

"The injuries suffered by Mr Sheehan are tantamount to a mental death.

"He may continue to exist as a shell but will never be able to enjoy life with his family and friends."

The court heard Mr Sheehan made repeated complaints about late night noise made by Burrell's Staffordshire bull terrier.

'Pool of blood'

During one early morning exchange, Burrell became "irrationally irritated" and attacked Mr Sheehan - who used a crutch and had a tremor - at his apartment, Judge Thomas said.

He left Mr Sheehan in a "pool of blood" before returning and stamping on his head.

"You were indifferent whether he lived or died as long as he couldn't tell anyone what happened," the judge added.

Mr Sheehan remains in a coma at Cardiff's University Hospital of Wales seven months after the attack.

Prosecutor Michael Jones described it as a "deliberate, severe, and merciless attack" during the proceedings.

In a statement, which was read out, Mr Sheehan's father, Martin, said his life has been changed "beyond recognition".

"It's difficult to understand why a person would inflict such horrific injuries on another person," he added. "All we can do is sit and hold his hand."

Burrell had denied both offences but was found guilty by a jury of the lesser charge.

The court heard Burrell had previously served seven years behind bars for shooting dead his 17-year-old girlfriend, Amie Miles, through the heart in 2002.

Burrell admitted manslaughter after saying his gun was discharged by accident.

Related Topics

More on this story