Date: 11 Dec 1995
Place: St Marks Rise, Hackney
Sean Cotter was the victim of a violent assault on 2 July 1991 but didn't die from his head injuries until 1995. However, because he died a year after he was assaulted, the police couldn't charge anyone, and a verdict of unlawful killing was recorded.
After the attack in 1991 he was left in a vegetative state.
He suffered a fractured skull and had extensive internal bleeding after being assaulted at an address in St Marks Rise, Hackney.
After being treated at a hospital he was later transferred to the British Home for Incurables in Crown Lane, Streatham where he remained until he died on 11 December 1995.
The two people that were suspected of killing him were initially charged with robbery. They said that they had met Sean Cotter in the street, saying that he was already injured at that time and that they then took him back to their home. They said that Sean Cotter told them that he didn't want an ambulance called. However, the police said that they disproved that fact and said that they had told a series of lies.
The charges of robbery were also dropped against the two people suspected of causing Sean Cotter's death because they didn't have enough evidence to prove that it was one, or the other, or both of them that had done it.
However, they were both convicted of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and sentenced to five years each.
At the inquest, the Coroner said, 'Had Mr Cotter died within a year and a day someone could have been charged over his killing. I think it is a law under debate at the moment. Mr Cotter was reduced to a vegetative state and he required total nursing care. He had a very poor quality of life'.
Sean Cotter had been a fit and healthy security officer at the time of the attack.