A man left with permanent brain damage after being viciously beaten has died.

Ashley Mansell, 30, was in a coma for ten days and in the specialist brain injury unit at Hurstwood Park for three months after being attacked in Victoria Park, Portslade on May 30, 2009.

The former road worker, who could not work after being attacked, was punched by James McCubbing, who later admitted the assault and was jailed for 40 months.

McCubbing, then 25 and of Marmion Road, Hove, attacked Mr Mansell who had asked him to stop wolf-whistling at his fiancée, Zoe Later, now 31.

Mr Mansell, who had a daughter Mercedes, 13, and two stepchildren Jade, 14, and Brandon, nine, was released from hospital after the attack but had suffered such serious injuries that he could not walk far and had lost much of his memory.

His health deteriorated before he suffered a heart attack and died.

A police investigation will not be launched as it is accepted Mr Mansell died from natural causes.

However his sister, Lucy Mansell, and Miss Later both believe he would not have died if he had not been attacked.

Both women said he was a changed man after the assault.

Miss Mansell, of Brighton, said: "Before the attack he was cheeky and always smiling.

"He was very charming and always laughing.

"But after being attacked he changed.

"He lost his confidence and became very quiet as a direct result of the injuries to his brain.

"He changed so much and it really hurt his family.

“Before he was really active but afterwards he spent a lot of time at home.

“He smoked too much and would watch a lot of television.

“There are a lot of what ifs but we believe if he had not been attacked he would not have died.

“He is going to be missed so, so much by his friends, family and children.”

Miss Later, who grew up in Whitehawk but lived with Mr Mansell in central Brighton, added: "Before the attack he was different. He was so lively.

“But he changed afterwards and was not what he was like before.

“He was a wonderful father and will really be missed."