A man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter after a stranger he assaulted in Sandwell died of his injuries.
Jagdev Lally was found by a passer-by with a serious head injury in an alleyway near to Tollgate shopping centre at around 9am on Tuesday 14 April and was rushed to hospital with a bleed on the brain.
Our investigations showed that the 38-year-old who is believed to have been homeless at the time, had been attacked at around 3am by another homeless man. He had been punched and kicked after he fell to the floor and suffered serious head and facial injuries. He sadly died around three weeks later in hospital on Friday 1 May.
Mr Lally had laid down with some bedding in the area next to a woman in the early hours that morning and it is believed that when her partner arrived at the location and saw Mr Lally next to her, he had reacted in a jealous fit of rage and assaulted him.
CCTV captured the assault just off Smethwick High Street and officers arrested homeless Ashley Pace. He was initially charged with wounding, and later charged with murder.
A week-long trial was due to begin on Monday 23 November, but this week, 35-year-old Pace offered a guilty plea to manslaughter which was accepted and heard at Wolverhampton Crown Court yesterday (Thursday 19 November).
Mr Lally’s family have paid tribute to him: “Jagdev was a loving father, son and brother.
“He was the sole provider for this parents in India, who are now totally lost without him.
“They, his son or sisters will never see him again.
“We need answers as to why someone would carry out this attack. We hope justice is served on the assailant so he realises what pain he has caused Jagdev and his family.
“To be taken at such a young age is difficult enough, but for it to be under such tragic circumstances is heart-breaking.”
Detective Inspector Jackie Nicholson, from Force CID, said: “This was a vicious and unprovoked attack on a vulnerable man by someone who was simply not happy about where he had laid down to sleep.
“He was left with serious injuries after collapsing and never regained consciousness.
“I’d like to thank the member of the public who helped him and made sure he got to hospital. Sadly, he didn’t survive.
“Nothing will bring Mr Lally back to his family but I hope that seeing the person who caused this unexplainable pain being brought to justice is something that can offer them at least some comfort.”
Pace will be sentenced on Friday 15 January at Wolverhampton Crown Court.