Wednesday, 7 December 2011
Coroner's withering verdict over death of David Askew
'Too much talking, not enough action': Coroner's withering verdict over death of vulnerable pensioner after 30 years of abuse. Also criticises 'staggering inertia and complacency' at local council.
A vulnerable 64-year-old man who collapsed and died after three decades of harassment was unlawfully killed, a coroner ruled yesterday.
David Askew, who had learning difficulties, was subjected to years of bullying by local youths who mocked him, threw eggs and bricks, and smashed his windows. He had gone outside to confront teenagers who had upset a wheelie bin and tampered with his elderly mother’s mobility scooter when he suffered a fatal heart attack. No-one has ever been prosecuted over his death, but yesterday coroner John Pollard said he had no doubt he had been unlawfully killed.
In a damning verdict on the years of torment suffered by the Askews, he said it showed how ‘feral youths can bring misery to a decent and vulnerable family’. Mr Pollard also criticised a culture of ‘staggering inertia and complacency’ at the local council and said he would also be writing to the police about the disturbing case.
Mr Askew had been bullied by three generations of locals on an estate in the Hattersley area of Greater Manchester, pestering him for money and cigarettes and kicking in the family’s front door.
During one two-month period he went to the offices of Tameside Council every day to complain about the yobs, while his mother called police 88 times to report the harassment. To read the rest of the article regarding this tragic case click here.