var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-41362908-1']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']); (function() { var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true; ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://' : 'http://') + ''; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })();
Home / Latest News / ‘Callous’ couple jailed after leaving doctor with serious brain damage

‘Callous’ couple jailed after leaving doctor with serious brain damage

A couple, who left a doctor with permanent brain damage after he was beaten with a hammer, have been sentenced to a total of 25 years in prison.

Edward Donovan and Rhiannon Gibbons broke into the £1.6m home of Dr Prana Das and his wife Nishebita, before tying them up, beating them and stealing cash, jewellery and gold.

In a victim statement, Mrs Das, 62, of Catsash, Newport, said: “I will never forget how terrified I was that night. I can still picture my husband’s bloodied face. I thought his throat was going to be cut.”

She said their lives had been ruined. “My husband will never be the same man that went to bed that night. He is nothing like the man I have known and loved for so many years.”

Donovan shifted uneasily in the dock as he listened to the victim statement, while Gibbons stared at the floor with a blank expression.

A jury had found Donovan, 51, of Commercial Road, Newport, and Gibbons, 27, of Chepstow Road, Newport, guilty of two counts of robbery, one count of grievous bodily harm with intent and one count of actual bodily harm.

Recorder of Cardiff Judge Eleri Rees said Mrs Das had been woken in the early hours of the morning on September 9 by Donovan placing a gloved hand over her mouth and demanding to know where her husband was.

After being blindfolded and bound by Gibbons, she heard cupboard doors slamming, as Donovan searched her home for valuables.

Moments later, she then heard her husband screaming “don’t hurt me anymore”, before he was dragged into the bedroom. As the pillow case was pulled off her head, she saw Donovan holding a knife across her husband’s throat.

Dr Das, 66, was repeatedly beaten for two hours. A hammer was later found, marked by traces of his blood.

Donovan and Gibbons escaped in the couple’s BMW 3 Series car with cash, thousands of pounds worth of jewellery and a gold ornamental eagle.

The pair burned the BMW to destroy the evidence, before taking a taxi to a hotel to “lie low”. They were caught on CCTV with the stolen items shortly after 6am.

Although her hands were tied behind her back, Mrs Das managed to reach a phone and alerted the emergency services.

Dr Das was taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport where he spent the next six months.

Dr Prana Das was left with serious brain injuries from the attack
Dr Prana Das was left with serious brain injuries from the attack


In her victim statement, Mrs Das said: “He cannot even remember the names of our children or grandchildren. They find it very upsetting when he constantly asks ‘who are you?’”

She added: “After the incident, I was unable to spend any time alone in the house. Every time I heard a noise, I thought they had come back and I relived the night again. My husband lives in fear that someone will come back to the house to finish what was started that night.”

The court heard Dr Das had suffered permanent brain damage, leaving him unable to work or drive and in need of full-time care.

His wife said: “In the future, the people found guilty will have the opportunity to put their lives back on track, but we will never be able to return to the way life was.”

Claire Pickthall, representing Gibbons, said: “Despite her difficult childhood, it seems that she had promise and was making the most of her life until heroin took over.”

The court heard Donovan had previously appeared in court 29 times for 87 offences and including an attack on her own grandmother in 2007.

Gibbons had 12 previous court appearances for 29 offences.

Addressing the defendants at Cardiff Crown Court yesterday, Judge Rees said: “This was a carefully planned robbery which demonstrated a callous disregard for the lives of the victims. You have shown no remorse. I have no doubt that the public need protection from you for a significant amount of time.” 

Donovan  was sentenced to 15 years in prison and Gibbons to 10 years.


At the time of the attack, Dr Das was facing multiple charges of neglect and fraud under health and safety laws.

As director of care home company Puretruce Health Care, he owned 32 care homes across South Wales – including many across the Valleys.

He was at the centre of an £11.6m investigation into six care homes, dubbed Operation Jasmine.

The operation, which was the biggest of its kind undertaken in the UK, looked into allegations of neglect relating to 63 deaths at six homes.

But the investigation was dropped on March 1 when Dr Das was deemed unfit to stand trial, following the unrelated attack.

In her victim statement, his wife said: “He was always going to do what was required of him to defend his name, but that opportunity has been taken away from him.”

The charges against Dr Das will lie on file.

Check Also

Just why does parking make so many people so damn angry?

Between  Brexit chaos and a black hole the size of three million planet Earths you’d …