Police reopen murder investigation of man who died as a result of assault more than 10 years ago

  • Case reopened after report proves death was as a result of assault 
  • GMP and family of victim urge people to come forward with information 

The family of man who died as a result of an assault more than 10 years ago are urging people to come forward with information after the police investigation was reopened.

Ashley McGurk, 32, known locally as Ashley Thomas, was seriously assaulted on Christmas Eve in 2011 while walking home from a party near  Harpurhey shopping precinct. He was in a coma for several months and was left severely brain damaged as a result of the unprovoked attack.

He was living in a care home in Rochdale before his death in January 2021.

Three arrests were made at the time and two men were released with no further action taken. One man was charged but the case was dismissed by the court.

A report from the pathologist has now confirmed that the assault years ago proved to be the fatal cause and GMP have reopened the investigation.

murder, Justice, Investigation
Ashley McGurk

Paying tribute, Ashley’s mother said: “Visiting my own son every day in his care facilities was absolutely heartbreaking to see and cope with for 10 long years, and to know we still don’t have justice so many years on is so devastating.

“Both Ashley and his family deserve justice which is why I would ask anyone to come forward with information. We want this nightmare to end once and for all.”

Detective Sergeant Paddy Connell, said: “This was a devastating incident for Ashley’s family and we believe there will be people in the local area with information about the reported assault at the time that may be able to help Ashley’s family get the justice they deserve.

“Ashley suffered such horrific injuries that he spent the last 10 years of his life in care facilities and was regularly visited by his mother who has suffered unimaginable emotional pain since the assault and has visited him every day over the last 10 years.”