Cornish fisherman loses appeal against murder conviction
A Cornish fisherman jailed for murder after his victim died almost two years after the attack, has lost his Court of Appeal challenge to the conviction.
Brian Leslie Harrison, 32, subjected 44-year-old Neville Dunn to a prolonged attack with fists and feet in Penzance in December 2007, leaving him with devastating injuries.
When Mr Dunn died of his injuries in October 2009, Harrison had already been convicted of intentional GBH and jailed. Harrison, of Newlyn, was then charged with murder. He was found guilty at Truro Crown Court and in March was sentenced to life in prison.
Yesterday the country's top judge rejected Harrison's appeal. The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, dismissed the submission made by Harrison's lawyers' that evidence of the GBH conviction should not have gone before the murder jury.
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The court heard Harrison attacked Mr Dunn after finding out he had had a "brief sexual encounter" with Harrison's on-off partner, Carla Dawson.
Mr Dunn was punched unconscious, suffering a brain injury, and died on October 17, 2009.
At Harrison's trial, prosecutors applied to adduce evidence of his conviction for intentional GBH as evidence to back their case against him.
The judge agreed, meaning prosecutors did not have to prove Harrison intended to cause serious harm to Mr Dunn, a necessary feature of murder.
On appeal, his lawyers argued the judge was wrong to allow that evidence in the trial, and said it was "irrelevant and inadmissible", but Lord Judge, sitting with Mr Justice Fulford and Mr Justice Bean, rejected the submission.
The judges refused to allow Harrison to appeal against the original GBH conviction and upheld the 16-year minimum term he must serve before seeking release.