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4 April 2014, 14:20
A 35 year old man has been been found guilty of the murder of a man in Salisbury.
Joseph Starzacher died on 4th August 2010 aged 37, three years after he was viciously attacked by Adam Cross in Salisbury City Centre.
At approximately 1:00 am on Sunday 29th July 2007, Joseph had been on a night out with friends and was buying food in a takeaway when Cross began shouting abuse at him. Cross continued when Joseph left the takeaway and one of Joseph's friends tried to intervene.
CCTV shows that Cross resumed his attack on Joseph and can be clearly seen to punch Joseph to the floor. Joseph's head hit the tarmac but the footage shows that he tried to get up. Cross kicked Joseph to the head with such force that he was rendered unconscious.
Friends and other members of the public rushed to help Joseph who was seriously injured. He was taken to Southampton General Hospital and underwent emergency surgery for a traumatic brain injury.
Cross was arrested at the scene and subsequently convicted of grievous bodily harm with intent in 2008. Joseph was left in a 'Persistent Vegetative State' and was cared for in a specialist nursing home.
In August 2010 he contracted Pneumonia due to his immobility and died. Medical experts concluded that Joseph’s death was linked to the head injury he received that day.
DS Pete Ritson said: ''Joseph was only 34 when Cross assaulted him in an entirely unprovoked attack, there was no reason for Cross to take such action.
''Joseph effectively lost his life that night, he never recovered and spent the next three years in a specialist nursing home with 24 hour medical care. The affect on his family was devastating.
''Cross was serving the initial sentence for Grievous bodily harm with Intent but following Joseph’s death it is right and proper that he was put before the courts to stand trial for his murder.
''This case is a stark reminder of the serious consequences of violence. Joseph lost his life and his young daughter lost her Dad because of the actions of Adam Cross.
''We are content that justice has been done for Joseph and we hope that his family can finally find some peace of mind.’'
Police have released a statement on behalf of the family Joseph Starzacher:
''To see Joseph's life taken away in such an act of unprovoked, mindless violence has had a devastating and heartbreaking affect on all those who knew him.
Joseph was a kind, gentle and caring person who abhorred violence. We as a family have lost a lovely young man in the prime of his life.
We have had to endure seeing Joseph locked in his body unable to communicate for three years watching his deterioration that eventually led to his death in 2010.
This has been deeply distressing for us all but especially for his daughter Megan who was the apple of his eye.
Despite going through two trials and two appeal processes we can now begin the process of moving on from this horrific ordeal knowing that Adam Cross, the person responsible for our grief, has been found guilty of murder.
We would like to thank Nigel Pascoe QC, Wiltshire Police and the Crown Prosecution Service for their endurance and support during the seven years following the vicious attack on Joseph.''