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86-year-old died after challenging a gang of youths near his Preston home

|News, Violent crime

Mohammed Al Aaraj, 19, has been jailed for the manslaughter of Frank Fishwick, 86, after hitting him once in the face outside his home in Preston.

Frank Fishwick lived in an flat on the Paddock, Preston. Students from the nearby Preston College were often seen hanging around near the flats. Frank was at home on the 10th September 2021, when a number of students, including Al Aaraj, passed his home to congregate in a nearby stairwell.

Mr Fishwick shouted out of the window telling them that it was private property and they should leave. He then left his home to speak with them but, despite his requests, they refused to leave the area. Mr Fishwick, frustrated with the situation, used racially offensive words towards one of the teenagers.

It was at this point that Mohammed Al Aaraj climbed the stairs heading towards Mr Fishwick, he then lashed out, hitting Mr Fishwick on the nose. The group left the area soon after.

Mr Fishwick’s nose began to bleed immediately, he went back inside to call the police. He told officers he did not wish to seek any medical attention.

Later that day, his nose continued to bleed so an ambulance was called and he was taken to Royal Preston Hospital shortly after 9pm. He died in hospital the following morning as a result of internal bleeding, directly related to the injury he had received to his nose.

Al Aaraj was charged with manslaughter. He initially denied the offence and a trial was fixed. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) produced CCTV evidence, eye witness evidence and Frank’s initial account from the police officers body worn video. When faced with the strength of that evidence, Al Aaraj pleaded guilty on 10 December 2021.

The sentence took place at Preston Crown Court on the 7 February 2022. Al-AAraj was sentenced to four years in a young offenders institution.

Paul Robinson, Senior Crown Prosecutor at CPS North West said: “This is an extremely tragic case. Frank Fishwick had simply asked the teenagers to move on, had they done so, he would still be alive today.

“Frank was frustrated and used inappropriate language that cannot be condoned, but Mohammed Al Aaraj and his friends could have simply walked away, and they chose not to.

"I hope this case will serve as a reminder that violence can have devastating consequences and that one blow is enough to take someone’s life.

“Losing Frank has been devastating for his daughter who lives abroad. Sadly, she hadn’t seen her father for some time due to the pandemic. Nothing can make up for Frank losing his life in the way he did, I hope his family can take some comfort in knowing that Al Aaraj has been brought to justice for his reckless actions that day.”

Notes to editors

  • Mohammed Al Aaraj: DoB 26/02/2002.

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