The 55-year-old man died just five days after being brutally attacked by a gang of youths in the park
Duane Murdoch was allegedly attacked by teenagers and his partner is offering a reward for witnesses who provide evidence about the group after his cause of death was ruled “natural”.
A man died five days after he was allegedly attacked by a youth gang in a park.
His partner has now offered a £1,000 reward for finding the teenagers who beat him up in broad daylight.
Duane Murdoch, 55, of Devon, was attacked in a park but the cause of death was given as natural, report live in Devon.
However, partner Pauline McCullagh – who offered the reward along with Duane’s family and friends – says the attack played some role in his death.
Three youths are said to have attacked Duane at around 2.30pm on Easter Sunday in Castle Green Park, near the library in Barnstaple.
He was reportedly hit from behind by the youths and then kicked on the ground in the face and body.
CCTV footage shows Duane, who had been shopping in Iceland, leaving the supermarket at around 1:30 p.m.
As he walked through the park, the gang reportedly shouted, “Where are you going old man?” while Duane replied to the group, “Go home.”
As he continues walking, he is thrown to the ground from behind.
Although two girls were with the boys, they just watched.
As a result of the seemingly unprovoked attack, Duane’s face was badly bruised and he had two broken ribs. However, he did not go to the hospital or report the attack to police.
Pauline is now trying to find witnesses, fearing the gang of five could strike again. She said: “These young people are free to do so again as there are no consequences.
“I would like to offer a £1,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of these thugs in the hope that maybe even one of the girls has a conscience.
“Unfortunately £1,000 is all I can afford.”
Duane and Pauline met on holiday in Cyprus eight years ago and she said he was an extremely popular, kind and well-loved man, adding: “I’ve been deaf ever since he died. I can’t really take it. He did have health issues and he was diabetic but the week before he was fit and healthy.”
Pauline, who lives in Birmingham, said Duane called her after the attack but his speech was slurred and she was upset with him because she thought he had been drinking.
She said: “Duane called me that night and I couldn’t understand him and was upset because I thought he was drinking. I know now he was probably in shock.”
It was only the next day that she found out what had happened and said: “The next day he called me and explained to me what had happened.
“I asked if he informed the police, he told me, which unfortunately wasn’t true, apparently he was too embarrassed. Despite the advice of his neighbors, he refused to go to the hospital.”
Neighbors, seeing the bruises on Duane’s face and ribs, urged him to go to the hospital, but he told them, “I’ve had worse playing rugby.”
After the attack, the couple spoke on the phone twice a day for the next few days. But her last call was Thursday night, April 21, Pauline says.
She continued: “He called me early in the evening to let me know he had decided to go to the hospital and would be going the next day as he was tired and wanted to go to bed.
“He called again at 8:25pm and said, ‘I love you, Pauline Ann McCullagh.’ I told him if he loved me he would take care of himself and go to the hospital. He repeated it again and said, ‘You just have to know that’. . In hindsight, I’d say he knew he was dying for using my full name.”
Duane’s body was found two days later after Pauline became increasingly concerned when she couldn’t reach him by phone and neighbors didn’t see him along the way.
His partner said: “Police told me he died that day between 4pm and 8pm on April 21st. I know he was alive at 8:25pm when we spoke, but I doubt he lasted much longer.
“The coroner attributed Duane’s death to natural causes as he did not die immediately. They said that all his organs collapsed. All of us who know Duane knew that this attack played a role – albeit indirectly – in his death. He had been fit and happy in Birmingham the week before.”
Anyone who witnessed the attack or has information that may assist police is asked to contact the officer on the case, Sgt John Crewe at Barnstaple Police Station and quote case number EN/005981/22.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/man-55-dies-just-five-27295173 The 55-year-old man died just five days after being brutally attacked by a gang of youths in the park