Disabled man tormented to death
posted on Mar 11, 2010
A 64-year-old man with learning difficulties was "tormented to death" after being bullied by yobs for more than a decade, neighbours claimed.
Police and authorities were warned that David Askew was being targeted years before he was found dead at his home in Hattersley, Greater Manchester, it emerged.
His mother Rose said Mr Askew was a "true gentleman". She said her son was a "very happy person" who "wouldn't hurt a fly".
Detectives were forced to insist they had done "everything" possible to protect him. One neighbour said Mr Askew's ordeal had been "like bear- baiting".
Mr Askew, who lived with his brother, Brian, and wheelchair-bound mother, Rose, was found dead outside his house after police were told youngsters were causing an "annoyance" at his property. Gangs - some of whom have anti-social behaviour orders for harassing the victim - had launched a "particular spate" of attacks recently, the officer leading the investigation said. But Mr Askew's neighbour, Avona Davies, 49, said the torment had been going on far longer. The shop worker said: "This has been going on for about 10 years. We have complained to the police and council and they put cameras in their back garden about three years ago.
"They tormented David for money and cigarettes. They harassed him every night without fail. For the past two or three weeks the harassment has moved to the front of the house, which never usually happened. Last night it started really early. We have stopped complaining for about 12 months because nothing gets done." Police officers called to the address in Melandra Crescent last night discovered Mr Askew collapsed outside. He had not been attacked and was pronounced dead at the scene. Results of a post-mortem examination were expected later.
Chief Superintendent Zoe Hamilton, of Greater Manchester Police, said it was too early to say if criminal charges would follow as she defended the force's involvement with the Askews. She said: "I think we have done everything we can. The level of personal involvement my staff and housing officers have had cannot be stressed enough."