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Wrexham family's Christmas pledge

Published date: 09 December 2010 |
Published by: Garth ApThomas
Read more articles by Garth ApThomas


 

THE family of a man who is receiving specialist treatment after suffering horrendous head injuries in an attack say they are going to make the best they can of Christmas.

The family of 38-year-old David Morton Thomas, from Johnstown, say they have always spent Christmas together and this year will be no different.

David was attacked during a night out in Chester in March and has been moved from Wrexham’s Maelor Hospital to a specialist neurological rehabilitation unit in Wirral.

David’s sister, Kim Jones of Ponciau, said: “David was moved to the unit, which is part of Clatterbridge Hospital, a week ago.

“The staff are encouraging him to feed himself and he is fed through a tube in the evenings to make sure he gets the right nutrients.

“He is not speaking. There are communication difficulties. I feel he can understand what we say to him, but I’m not an expert. The staff are assessing what he is capable of.”

Kim said the family work together to ensure that someone is with David by his side every day.

“Obviously it is not going to be a very nice Christmas but it will be something that we have to get through,” she added.

“Our family has always got together at Christmas and we are determined that this year will be no different. We will be going to see David and making the very best of it that we can. We will be buying presents, but I’m not too sure what yet.”

She added that the family is infuriated the man responsible for David’s injuries – 30-year-old Alan Junior Gilmartin of Sycamore Drive, Lache – only received a two-and-a-half years sentence after pleading guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Kim said officers from the probation service had been in contact to tell her Gilmartin could possibly be out of prison in October next year.

“This man nearly killed David. We don’t want anyone else to have to suffer what we are going through as a family. We are still pressing for him to have a much longer sentence.”

At the time of the attack Gilmartin was out on licence. When he was sentenced, the court was told Gilmartin had a criminal record dating back to 1995, including previous convictions for burglary and a number of violent offences.

He was convicted of burglary in 2006 and in 2009 he was sent to prison for a year for assault.

Clwyd South MP Susan Elan Jones has already written to the Justice Secretary Ken Clarke demanding a top-level probe of the case, but the request has been turned down.

Kim said the family greatly valued the campaigning work which Ms Jones continues to make on their behalf.

“There are so many people who have helped us and we would like to thank them.”

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  1. Posted by: eveningreader at 14:26 on 09 December 2010 Report

    Best wishes to David and his family. The sentence handed down to Gilmartin was an absolute disgrace.

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