Thug who brutally attacked 'loving dad' before leaving him to die in the street guilty of murder

Vincent McDonagh and his family -Credit:Family handout
Vincent McDonagh and his family -Credit:Family handout

A ‘loving dad’ was brutally attacked by his flatmate before being left to die in the street. Lee Burns, 38, has been found guilty of murdering Vincent ‘Vinny’ McDonagh.

The 45-year-old was engaged and had a young son. He had lent Burns £20 so they could go to the pub together in Oldham, on the night that he was later murdered by him.

As they walked home together the pair became involved in a row, thought to be over a mobile phone. Distressing CCTV footage captured the brutal attack launched by Burns, at about 11pm on November 9 last year.

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Burns said 'I’ll f****** bang you out bro' before he punched Mr McDonagh to the head, knocking him unconscious, and then repeatedly punched and stamped on his head as he lay prone on the pavement. He then walked away.

It was about 45 minutes until members of the public noticed him and tried to help. Burns went home to the block of flats on Worsley Road in Oldham where he and Mr McDonagh had both lived.

He was arrested at 5am the following morning when police raided his flat. Burns later claimed to have been acting in self-defence.

Burns went on trial at Manchester Crown Court and denied murder -Credit:MEN Media
Burns went on trial at Manchester Crown Court and denied murder -Credit:MEN Media

But his claims were rejected by a jury following a trial at Manchester Crown Court. He was convicted of murder and will be sentenced on Monday.

“It’s not completely clear as to what the dispute between them was about,” prosecutor Rob Hall said during the trial. “It may have been something as innocuous as Mr McDonagh making a call on Mr Burns’ phone.”

But he said it was clear their conversation 'seemed to take a turn for the worse'. “Clearly it was something that wound Mr Burns up, significantly," the prosecutor said.

Mr Hall continued: “On the evening of Thursday November 9, 2023, Vincent or Vinny McDonagh, who was 45-years–old at the time, lent £20 to a co-resident in his flat block. That co-resident was the defendant Lee Burns, who was 38-years-old at the time.

“The reason for the lending of that money was so that they could both go to the pub together that Thursday night. It would appear that Mr McDonagh was well disposed towards Mr Burns, hence the lending of the £20.”

Tributes were paid to Mr McDonagh following his death. His fiancé Demi said: "Vinny was an amazing fiancé, a loving dad and devoted family man. He was kind and helpful to everyone and nothing was ever too much to ask.

"He loved his little boy to pieces, he doted on him and would always make sure he had everything. He loved his music and would always sing to me and his little boy, he was always making jokes and was the life of the party.

"He was from a big family in Ireland and had six brothers and seven sisters, and would always speak about their memories and his love for his dad Barney. Our lives are so empty without him, we cannot believe someone would just take him away.

"He will be missed so much, and we don’t know how to go on without him. We always used to say we loved each other to the moon and stars and now I won’t hear that from him again."