This is the horrifying moment a “larger than life” 51-year-old man was “viciously attacked” and left in a vegetative state after going out for a drink in Trafalgar Square.
Desmond O'Beirne, from Westminster , was left with a traumatic brain injury after being chased then brutally attacked outside the National Gallery by two men on June 3 last year.
At around 12.30am, paramedics treated Mr O'Beirne at the scene before rushing him to hospital. Sadly, he died of his injuries six months later on December 20.
The 51-year-old's death, which a post-mortem examination established was caused by a head injury, prompted the launch of a murder investigation by Met Police .
A serious crime reward of £20,000 has been made available for anyone providing vital information which leads to the arrest and conviction of the people responsible.
Detectives Chief Inspector Noel McHugh, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, spoke after launching a CCTV appeal of the assault which shows the “senseless attack”.
He said: “Someone may see this video and remember that they witnessed this incident. You will see a female who is clearly shocked by what is happened and holds her hands up to her face.
“You may have been part of the group and did not realise how seriously Desmond was hurt and that he has now died. That may pray on your mind. You can contact us and help us get justice.
“Desmond was an inoffensive man, a big man and a character, who was out having a drink. The CCTV shows that he was senselessly attacked and that he never stood a chance.”
The first suspect has been described as having a top knot hairstyle, full beard, red t-shirt, dark trousers and light coloured shoes.
The second suspect was wearing a black jacket with a white emblem on the right shoulder and white writing with a picture on the rear.
He was also wearing a white top under the jacket, dark trousers and dark shoes with white soles.
A police spokesman said the first suspect can be seen to punch the back of the victim's head and the second can be seen to kick him after he collapsed on the pavement.
'Hard working and larger than life'
Mr O'Beirne's sister, Vivienne Folan, made an emotional statement appealing for anyone with information about the “vicious attack” to come forward.
“My brother was hard working and larger than life,” she said.
“He was on a night out in Trafalgar Square when he was brutally and viciously attacked by two cowards who then calmly walked away and left him for dead.
“As a direct result of this attack, he suffered a traumatic brain injury and was left in a vegetative state. Desmond's life was ended far too soon and our family has been left devastated.
“I am trying to get justice for Desmond, his two attackers were very distinctive and part of a larger group. I hope that witnesses and those from that group who did not know how serious the attack was will come forward."
DCI McHugh added: “The events of Desmond's attack precede the London Bridge Terrorists attacks which were in the following evening.
“So whilst there is a passage of time, people will remember where they were in London and could remember this incident. I’m asking anyone who took any footage or selfies around that time to contact us.
“Take a look through your photos and see if you have something that can help us.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the incident room on 020 8785 8099. To give information anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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