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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 October 2007, 13:16 GMT 14:16 UK
Case reopened after man's death
Terence Garner
Terence Garner was attacked near his home in December 2002
Detectives have launched an investigation into the death of a man five years after he was attacked.

Terence Garner, 57, of Chell Heath in Stoke-on-Trent, suffered brain damage in the assault in December 2002. He died on Thursday.

Police said they were reopening the case after a coroner said Mr Garner's death was linked to his injuries.

A Stoke-on-Trent man was convicted of attacking Mr Garner and jailed in August 2003.

Michael Clifford, of Bridgewater Street, Longport, Stoke-on-Trent, was jailed for five-and-a-half years after he was convicted of causing grievous bodily harm and assault.

Staffordshire Police said they were urging new witnesses who saw the attack, near Mr Garner's home in Barncroft Road, to come forward.

After the assault, former security guard Mr Garner was moved to a nursing home in Bradwell, Newcastle-under-Lyme, where he died last week.

'Traumatic time'

A statement released by Mr Garner's widow Margaret, and his daughter Julie Mollart, said: "We lost Terry on the night he was assaulted and have never got over what happened to him.

"He suffered permanent brain damage and was a shell of his former self, never regaining any real quality of life."

Officers said they had set up an incident room to deal with the case.

Det Insp Guy Titchener said: "Our thoughts are with Mr Garner's family at this traumatic time.

"We will now re-examine the full circumstances surrounding the assault in 2002 and seek advice from the Crown Prosecution Service, on behalf of the Attorney General, as to the best way forward."

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