Funeral of man ‘tormented to death’

The funeral of a 64-year-old man who neighbours said was “tormented to death” by yobs will take place.

David Askew, who had learning difficulties, collapsed and died in the garden of his home in Hattersley, Greater Manchester, on the evening of March 10.

Police officers were called to his Melandra Crescent address after reports that youngsters were causing a disturbance outside.  An initial post-mortem examination proved inconclusive but it is thought Mr Askew was not physically attacked during the incident.

It emerged the authorities were previously warned he was targeted by gangs where he lived with his wheelchair-bound mother Rose and his brother Brian.  One neighbour said Mr Askew was harassed for a decade and was “tormented to death”, comparing his treatment to “bear-baiting”.

His mother’s tribute said her son “wouldn’t hurt a fly and he never saw bad in anyone. He always put others first.”  Greater Manchester Police referred the matter of previous contact with the family to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

The funeral takes place at St Barnabas’ Church in Hattersley, followed by committal at Dukinfield Crematorium.  An 18-year-old man has appeared in court charged with the harassment of Mr Askew between January 25 and March 10 this year, while another 18-year-old man arrested on suspicion of manslaughter remains on bail pending further inquiries.

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