Wainuiomata attack victim dies

ATTACKED: Jack Morrissey, 82, was afraid he would suffer a head injury during an assault in his Wainuiomata home.
ATTACKED: Jack Morrissey, 82, was afraid he would suffer a head injury during an assault in his Wainuiomata home.

An 82-year-old ex-policeman who was attacked in his Wainuiomata home by two teenage boys has died.

Mr Morrissey's son, Paul, found his father dead on the kitchen floor of his home on Friday night after checking on him by phone half an hour earlier. His father had sounded breathless and stressed, he said.

An autopsy would be done to establish if the alleged attack by two teenage boys had contributed to his father's death, because it came so soon after the October 23 home invasion, Paul Morrissey said.

Police spokesman Nick Bohm confirmed an autopsy would be carried out today after the coroner decided to "double-check things".

Speculation over whether the violence contributed to Mr Morrissey's death or if the charges against the teenagers of aggravated robbery would be upgraded, was "premature", he said.

Mr Morrissey, who was partially blind, feared for his life when confronted on the doorstep of his home in Wainuiomata on the night of October 23 by the pair, aged 18 and 14.

It is alleged one of the youths beat Mr Morrissey on the back with a broom, while the other ransacked his bedroom looking for his wallet.

Mr Morrissey told The Dominion Post two days after the attack that he had been desperate to avoid a head injury.

"Nobody wants to die or even be seriously injured. I said 'please don't hit me in the head, please don't do it.'"I didn't want to end up on the floor with a fractured skull."

He tried to negotiate with the pair but they ended up taking about $400 in cash.

Nearly a week later the pair were charged with committing burglary with a weapon and remanded in custody, to appear in Lower Hutt District Court later this month.

Mr Morrissey had recently undergone heart and stomach operations and also suffered from a degenerative eye condition that affected his sight.

Despite his poor health his son said he had ''noticed a marked decline'' in his well-being following the attack.

''He suffered quite a bit of stress,'' his son said.

However, he was not willing to speculate on whether the attack contributed to his death and would await the findings of tomorrow's autopsy before commenting further.

Mr Morrissey is survived by five sons - Gary, Tony, Philip, Ron and Paul - and 11 grandchildren.

Mr Morrissey said his father was a ''generous man who had great fun with his grandkids''.

The attack was the second home invasion in Wainuiomata in recent months. In August, Trevor Cotter, 74, and wife Marie, 64, were attacked in their house by three masked men armed with baseball bats. 

Contact Matt Stewart
Weather, science and environment reporter
Email: matt.stewart@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @smatape

The Dominion Post