UK gang target dies

BRITAIN: An 80-year-old woman died after a gang of youths removed a manhole cover in her driveway and she fell into the hole in darkness.

Jenny Ward, from Blackpool, was harassed by the gang of up to 15 teenagers, who smashed the windows of her home and taunted her for months, the Blackpool Gazette reported.

She fell into the hole late one night and was trapped there for three hours before her cries were heard.  She spent a month in the hospital but friends said she never recovered from the incident. They have called on police to investigate her death.

Bev Lord, who worked with Ward for two years, said: “I’m devastated. She was being tormented. She stayed out most nights and didn’t go back home until later because she was frightened of being home.”

A neighbour – who did not wish to be named for fear of reprisals – said, “There was a gang of them. I’ve had hassle from them, too. Someone took the manhole cover and she fell in it, I think that’s why she died.”

Blackpool Police said they were not aware of the antisocial behaviour endured by Ward. Because a coroner’s investigation did not deem her death suspicious a police investigation had not been launched. They were looking into the theft of the manhole cover.

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