Man Jailed For Murder In Leicester 11 Years After Original Attack

25 September 2015, 17:51 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

Paul Smith

A Leicester man has been sent back to jail later for an attack 11 years ago which left his victim with permanent brain damage.

Ivan Barrs was punched and had his head stamped on in 2003 leaving him in a permanent vegetative state.

29-year-old Paul Smith from Northampton Road was 16 at the time.  He was jailed for 7 years and released in 2009.  But he was rearrested on suspicion of murder after Ivan death last year.

He'll serve at least another 10 years.

In March 2014, he died from pneumonia, which was caused as result of the assault.

The Pain Has Been Immense

Ivan’s mother, Eleanor Badi, said: “The day he murdered my son he murdered me. The pain has been immense. During the 11 years before my son died he suffered a lot both physically and mentally. It was very painful for me. I lived his pain, I physically felt it. I prayed it would be me and not Ivan.

“When he was first in hospital I whispered to him ‘Mum is here for you. I will never let you down and I will always be here for you.’ I have never broken that promise.

“For the first few weeks it was a nightmare, I was very angry. How dare Paul Smith touch my son, and then gradually I realised I had to concentrate on Ivan and blank all the other people out. Ivan needed me to spend all my energy on him.

“I don’t think there will ever be any closure to this for me. The only person who is truly at peace now is Ivan.

“I go the cemetery most days and some days I am okay, other days I just break down and cry. When I am there it is just like it is me and Ivan there and we are talking. Then it hits me, bang, that he is gone.

“I don’t even know if I want my pain to go away. If it goes away it is like letting go. Whatever I go through for the rest of my life is worth it, knowing that Ivan is not going through pain anymore.

“I always said I was going to have my son home one day. Sadly it was not in life. It was never to be.”

“I would like to thank Leicestershire Police for their hard work and dedication in bringing Smith to justice. I would also like to thank the Coroner.

One Act Of Violence Can Ruin The Lives Of So Many

Detective Constable Nick Evans said: “One act of violence more than a decade ago has ruined several lives. Ivan’s, his families and Smith’s.

“I am sure that when Smith carried out this assault he never thought he would find himself on a murder charge. The consequences of his actions that night 11 years ago are a reminder to everyone that one act of violence can ruin the lives of so many.

“Please, think about your actions and how they may impact upon both yourself and others.

“It has been a long road for Ivan’s family, who have never wavered in their courage and dignity.”