To residents he was a gentle man, a kind neighbour and protective son, but to generations of unruly teenagers he was “Dopey Dave”, a vulnerable man they took pleasure in provoking into a fury.The police do seem to have done something :
He collapsed and died from a suspected heart attack on Wednesday evening after confronting several shadowy figures in the front garden who were shouting at him. Last night police arrested a 18-year-old man on suspicion of manslaughter.
One neighbour suggested that “kids” had indulged in “bear-baiting”, effectively tormenting their chosen victim to death and that the bullying had been going on for much of his life.
Over the years his tormentors, some as young as 8, had called at the modest pebble-dashed home he shared with his brother Brian, 63, and mother Rose, 88, throwing eggs and bricks at the walls, kicking in his front door, breaking windows and demanding cigarettes and money. Residents have complained that not enough was done to tackle antisocial behaviour but Greater Manchester Police insisted that officers had gone out of their way to develop a personal relationship with the family and to prosecute offenders where possible.
Police insisted they had done everything possible to support Mr Askew, his wheelchair-bound mother, Rose, and brother Brian. They had been to the property in Hattersley, Greater Manchester, 10 times in the last year after reports of anti-social behaviour. One youth – currently in prison – has an ASBO for harassing the family.10 years of harassment - one ASBO and no-one fined or imprisoned. Is that the police, Crown Prosecution Service, the kids' social workers, magistrates, or a toxic combination? You can see how that tough approach worked out :
His poor mother. One 'youth' has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter. Possibility of a conviction - zero IMHO. They're just trying to be seen to do something about that open stable door and a missing horse.
It is thought Askew became agitated when two youths broke down a gate and entered his garden on Wednesday evening. Police were called at 9.40pm after the youths tampered with his mother's mobility scooter and a bin.Officers arrived within nine minutes but discovered Askew collapsed in the garden.