Murder probe launched as man chased and brutally attacked by two thugs in Trafalgar Square dies six months later

A man who was captured on CCTV being chased and brutally attacked in London’s Trafalgar Square has died from his injuries six months later.

Desmond O’Beirne, 51, was assaulted outside the National Gallery in the square by two men in the early hours of June 3 last year, police say.

He was treated at the scene by paramedics, before being rushed to hospital, where he was said at the time to be in a “critical but stable condition”.

However, on December 20, just five days before Christmas, he passed away from the injuries he sustained in the “mindless” attack, Scotland Yard say.

He had never regained consciousness.

Desmond O'Beirne, 51, was brutally assaulted outside the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square in June last year
Desmond O’Beirne, 51, was brutally assaulted outside the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square in June last year
(Image: Metropolitan Police)
The victim collapsed to the ground after being punched in the back of the head by a first suspect
The victim collapsed to the ground after being punched in the back of the head by a first suspect
(Image: Metropolitan Police)

A post-mortem examination, carried out at the capital’s Westminster Mortuary on January 3, gave the cause of death as a head injury.

Police have now launched a murder investigation, with officers keen to trace anyone who was in the area and witnessed the incident.

Officers previously released CCTV images of two men they want to trace in connection with the attack – who have both yet to be identified.

In a sickening video, the victim was filmed being punched in the back of the head by a first suspect as he ran near the central London landmark.

After he collapsed to the ground, he was kicked by a second suspect.

He was then kicked by a second suspect as he lay on the pavement, police say
He was then kicked by a second suspect as he lay on the pavement, police say
(Image: Metropolitan Police)
The assault occurred at around 00.25am on June 3
The assault occurred at around 00.25am on June 3
(Image: Metropolitan Police)

The attack on Desmond, from Westminster, occurred at around 00.25am.

In a statement today, the Met Police said: “London Ambulance Service attended and treated Desmond at the scene before taking him to hospital.

“However, he subsequently died from his injuries on Wednesday, 20 December 2017.”

The force added: “Next of kin have been informed and formal identification has taken place.

“An investigation is underway by officers from the Homicide and Major Crime Command, led by Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh.”

The first suspect wanted for questioning had a top knot hair style, a full beard, a red t-shirt, dark trousers and light colour shoes.

Desmond never regained consciousness and passed away on December 20, just five days before Christmas
Desmond never regained consciousness and passed away on December 20, just five days before Christmas
(Image: Metropolitan Police)

The second suspect was wearing a black jacket with a white emblem on 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.

DCI McHugh said: “These two men will have spoken to friends and partners and possibly boasted about their mindless attack.

“I want you to call us with their names.

“The males are distinctive and will be known to their group that evening.

“Desmond never regained consciousness after the brutal attack and it is vital we bring his attackers to justice.”

Police would like to trace anyone who was in the area at around the time of the attack and witnessed it, particularly anyone who filmed or took photos of the incident, or the events either side of it.

  • Anyone with information is asked to contact the incident room on 020 8785 8099. Or to give information anonymously, you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers-uk.org. You can also tweet information via @MetCC

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