The parents of a Sunderland teenager who died as a result of injuries suffered in an attack by his mother’s boyfriend when he was just a baby have spoken of the hole his death has left in their lives.
And a coroner has praised their dedication and determination in ensuring his killer was brought to justice.
Eighteen-year-old Ewan Marrin was found dead in his bed at home in Seaham in May 2016. His death was due to his epilepsy caused by the shaking attack by Marc Guy, which left him severely disabled.
Guy was initially jailed for 21 months for GBH. The 43-year-old, of Commons Road, Lower Killeens, County Cork, pleaded guilty to Ewan’s manslaughter at Newcastle Crown Court last month and was jailed for another 21 months.
An inquest was opened at the time of Ewan’s death and resumed last month, but adjourned until formal notification of the Crown Court proceedings was received.
At a resumed hearing, Assistant Coroner Karin Welsh said the case would be discontinued in light of Guy’s jail sentence.
It’s so difficult to find the words to explain the effects losing Ewan has had on us all. But I’m also so grateful that we got to spend 18 years making memories and learning life lessons we will carry with us forever.Michelle Coulson
“We cannot do anything to contradict what has happened elsewhere,” she said.
She paid tribute to Ewan’s mum and stepdad, Michelle and Ian Coulson, for the love and devotion they had shown him: “The fact that he survived to the age that he did was testament to the care he had been given by the two of you during that time,” she said.
“The fact you have come along today continues the care and devotion you showed to Ewan during his life time.”
A post-mortem examination had established Ewan’s death was related to the injuries he had suffered as a baby: “You had something of a struggle to persuade the powers-that-be that criminal proceedings should be undertaken in relation to that, but I think your persistence was rewarded in as much as the person responsible was convicted and sentenced,” said Ms Walsh.
Mr and Mrs Coulson married in 2001 and he became Ewan’s stepfather and guardian. Ewan remained living with his stepdad after the couple split in 2010 and it was Mr Coulson who found Ewan dead.
Speaking after the hearing, Michelle Coulson said Ewan was ‘missed so much.’
“Everybody who knew him loved him,” she said.
“He made a big impact on people’s lives. He is a big miss to our family.
“It’s so difficult to find the words to explain the effects losing Ewan has had on us all.
“But I’m also so grateful that we got to spend 18 years making memories and learning life lessons we will carry with us forever.”
Ian added: “We miss him a lot, the whole family does. He made people laugh, even when he was hard work.
“He was 18 and over the last few months, he had just turned into a man. You get some lads who get to 18 and they haven’t grown up, but you could tell that he had.”