A Preston teenager has today received a four-year jail term for the manslaughter of a local pensioner after pleading guilty in December 2021.Advertisement
Police arrested Mohammed Al Aaraj, 19, of Sheffield Drive, Preston, following the incident around 3pm on September 10 2021, at The Paddock, Fulwood.
Officers received reports of an assault and arrived at the scene, where they found the victim, Frank Fishwick, 86, with facial injuries, who sadly died the following morning after attending hospital.
A post-mortem examination found the cause of death to be bleeding from fractures to the nose, consistent with being assaulted.
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Det Ch Insp Mark Haworth-Oates of the Force Major Investigation Team said: “Mohammed Al Aaraj’s needless and rash actions on that day claimed the life of an elderly man who had simply gone outside to ask a group of youths to move on.
“Mr Fishwick was quick to accept that the language he used was unacceptable, and I echo that it has no place in any circumstances.
“However, by choosing to punch this man of 86 years, who offered no physical threat towards him, Al-Aaraj changed the course of his own life, as well as that of Mr Fishwick and his family and friends.
“This is another stark reminder that actions have consequences – we welcome today’s sentence, and our thoughts remain with Mr Fishwick’s family at this sad and difficult time.”
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Mr Fishwick went outside to speak to a group of youths gathered in a stairway near his home.
Mr Fishwick admitted to officers at the time that he used some racist language towards the defendant, for which he later apologised.
During the interaction, Mr Fishwick was punched in the face by one of the group before they all ran away.
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Police launched an investigation, and Mohammed Al Aaraj was arrested and charged with manslaughter.
He entered a guilty plea in December 2021, and today at Preston Crown Court, he received a four-year sentence.
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In a statement, Mr Fishwick’s family said: “The assault of an elderly, frail person is unconscionable – a life taken cannot be restored, nor the act of forgiveness for a violent offence be offered or given.
“The untimely death of a father, grandfather, and loved one and the manner in which it occurred has been life-changing and created a profound, indescribable sadness.
“We would like to thank the investigation team for their hard work in carrying out the investigation following the assault and untimely death.
“Immense gratitude is extended to the family liaison officers who have supported us through this incredibly difficult period of our lives.
“We often take for granted the very things that deserve our gratitude, including public services.
“Having been closely involved with the police over the past months and experienced first-hand what they do, we are thankful for the services they provided and impressed by their commitment to duty.”
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