A DISTRAUGHT daughter whose dad was kicked in the head and left for dead has branded his attacker an 'animal.'

Gary McGowan suffered severe brain damage after David Evans unleashed the alcohol-fuelled onslaught in Abingdon, triggering a haemorrhage that changed his victim's personality and left him unable to look after himself.

Evans followed Mr McGowan to his home in Bath Street on the night of October 1, Oxford Crown Court heard yesterday, after the pair had a disagreement in the Black Swan nearby.

The 50-year-old repeatedly kicked his victim in the head outside his home then dragged his lifeless body inside - before returning to the pub.

Judge Nigel Daly, who sentenced Evans to 14 years, said 58-year-old Mr McGowan would have likely died if not for a neighbour calling paramedics.

Addressing the court yesterday, his daughter Nina McGowan labelled the attack ‘disgusting and brutal’ and Evans an ‘animal.’

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She spoke of the family's 'heartbreak' to have lost her father as they knew him, noting his injuries could be lifelong.

Miss McGowan said: “He was a social, hardworking man who was loved by many people.

"He [Evans] has ruined my dad’s life. He left him for dead.

“I feel I’ve lost my dad forever. I just want him back."

Evans and his victim were described in court as 'acquaintances,' who had an 'exchange of words' in the pub.

Judge Daly said Mr McGowan was 'extremely drunk' and known to be 'a bit of a wind-up merchant', and goaded Evans by calling him a paedophile.

Former taxi driver Evans, of Turbeville Close in Abingdon, repeatedly told a friend that he was going 'to do him'.

Judge Daly said Evans caught up with Mr McGowan after he left the pub, and they were seen at a pedestrian crossing.

He added: "Precisely what happened next, we will never know.

"It finished in the courtyard outside Mr McGowan's house."

Reading a statement aloud, Mr McGowan's tearful wife said her husband, a ground worker, was 'viciously attacked.'

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She said: "That night has changed mine and Gary’s lives forever.

"I was away on holiday and received a phone call from police - I was shellshocked, it was like a bad dream or a nightmare."

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Oxford Crown Court

Mrs McGowan explained her husband was not on holiday because he had broken his ribs, while trying to get suitcases downstairs the day before they were due to fly.

She said her husband is now 'often stroppy' and regularly asks to see his parents, who died several years ago.

Mrs McGowan added: "I’m worried that Gary won’t ever recover sufficiently to come home.

"Before this happened we had a nice normal life.

"Gary will probably never be able to work again, and he loves his job. That’s been taken away from him."

A unanimous jury found Evans guilty on April 5.

Police had initially treated the attack as attempted murder, but he was convicted of grievous bodily harm with intent.

The court heard Mr McGowan underwent 'serious neurological interventions' to manage a bleed on his brain, but developed a 'severe neurocognitive impairment.'

He is being cared for at a specialist facility near Bristol, meaning his family have to travel to see him.

Defending, Peter Du Feu said Evans's family were 'devastated in their own way.'

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He said his client was Abingdon 'born and bred' and his family held a good reputation in the town.

He admitted the attack had a 'drastic and dramatic' impact on the victim, and the fact Evans went back to the pub instead of seeking help was 'inexplicable.'

Judge Nigel Daly said he had read testimonies depicting Evans as a 'hard-working man' and 'good darts-playing companion,' who was 'well-liked and trusted in the community.'

He added: "You were not thought to be a violent man. I have no doubt alcohol played a significant part in your behaviour."

The court heard a knife from Mr McGowan's kitchen was found outside.

Judge Daly accepted he had fetched the weapon to threaten Evans, but said he was 'quickly disarmed' and the attack was not in self defence.

Mr McGowan somehow ended up on the ground, and a neighbour witnessed the blows thereafter.

Judge Daly said: "You repeatedly kicked him in the head and body, using shod foot as a weapon.

"You dragged Mr McGowan's body inside his house, where you left him unconscious and bleeding, and shut the door."

Evans returned to the pub before going home and attempting to scrub the blood off his shoes.

Paramedics had to break down his victim's door, as it had locked automatically.

Judge Daly said: "Had the neighbour not acted, I am quite satisfied that Mr McGowan would have died."

Evans will have to serve at least half of his sentence in custody before being allowed out on licence.