Optimism gives way to anger after new comments

THE judge professed 'immense sympathy' for the relatives of the dead man, yesterday, writes Stephen Ward.

But after the hearing, Detective Inspector Ron Lamb, said: 'It seems everything in court today was about the defendant. Has anyone given any thought to how an 83-year-old man who has survived two world wars might have felt as he lay dying after being attacked as he was feeding the pigeons?'

The dead man's niece, Ellen Hall, said she believed the reporting of the hearing on Friday had been completely correct and the judge's remarks yesterday had only angered her more.

She said: 'I was optimistic that because an unusual course had been taken, and the case relisted, that the judge would have passed an appropriate sentence. I am shocked, stunned and disgusted by what the judge did today.'

Her uncle had lived a quiet, gentle life, she said. 'He didn't deserve to die like that.'