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Father and son from Romford on trial for murder

PUBLISHED: 10:45 29 October 2010

Richard Cabby

Richard Cabby

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A FATHER and son convicted of the "utterly brutal" attack of a man on Christmas Day 2005 have gone on trial for murder because their victim died two years after the assault.

Thirty-three-year-old Matthew Ali, from Goresway, Romford, and Philip Ali, 53, from Hainault, have already been found guilty of attempting to murder Richard Cabby, who they attacked with a baseball bat, lump hammer and knife five years ago.

Mr Cabby, 36, suffered appalling injuries, but “remarkably” survived due to skilled medical intervention and care. The blows to his head crushed the right side of his face, fracturing almost every bone, fractured the back of his skull and burst his eye ball.

He also suffered a punctured lung and a fractured spine that rendered him paraplegic, plus multiple stab wounds.

Mr Cabby needed repeated hospital treatment and daily nursing care but died on February 14 2008 from septicaemia brought on by infected pressure sores which had worn away his skin down to the bone.

Prosecutor Anthony Orchard told the Old Bailey: “If the reality is that these defendants caused his death, albeit delayed because of medical treatment he received, then they not just guilty of attempted murder but also his murder.

“The law allows them to be prosecuted for his murder, not withstanding they have already been convicted of the attempt.

“There is no dispute in this case that the two defendants were two of three men who attacked Richard Cabby. There is no dispute the evidence shows they intended to kill him. The only issue is whether in doing so they caused his death.”

Jurors heard Mr Cabby was ambushed by the Alis and an unknown third male at around 11am as he sat in his Ford Transit van at the junction of Bennetts Castle Lane and Green Lane in Dagenham.

Mr Cabby was in dispute with Matthew Ali’s wife, his former partner, over access to their two children. Mr Cabby was a “violent man” and she had not informed him where she was living with children.

Mr Cabby had made numerous threats over the telephone to the woman’s mother and demanded to see his children over the festive period, which were refused.

He also threatened to kill Matthew Ali, but he refused any police involvement.

Instead Ali and his father Phillip decided to “put an end” to Mr Cabby themselves.

Mr Orchard said: “These two defendants and one other man who had not been identified committed an act of violence of utter brutality. They lured Cabby to where they were waiting for him in a main road in Dagenham. They forced the van he was driving off the road, they dragged him out of the van and beat him and stabbed him and hit him and kicked him.

“Their blows were hard and they were many in number. They inflicted on him the most appalling injuries and they left him for dead, lying face up in the road.”

The attack was witnessed by members of the public “enjoying a quiet Christmas morning”, said Mr Orchard.

Mr Cabby was rushed to the Royal London Hospital “close to death” and needed emergency surgery. Doctors later rebuilt his face, but he was left paralysed below the waist and had no feeling or movement in his legs.

Mr Cabby also had no control over his bowels and required daily nursing care. He remained in inpatient until April 2006 when he was allowed home.

He was “far from a model patient” and struggled to come to terms with the severity of his injuries. Mr Orchard said he could be aggressive and unpleasant and often did not follow medical advice.

“There is no doubt he did not do all he could have done to help himself to live longer than he actually did,” said Mr Orchard. On February 9 2008 he was admitted to hospital and he died five days later.

The Alis deny murder on the grounds of causation. The trial continues.

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