Teen charged for lethal punch which killed veteran on his own doorstep

A teenager has been charged with manslaughter after he fatally punched a pensioner who had confronted him and his friends for hanging around in a stairwell by his home.

Mohammed Al Aaraj, 19, was initially arrested on suspicion of murder after attacking grandad and veteran Frank Fishwick near to his home in Fulwood, just north of Preston, on Friday 10 September.

Emergency services were called at around 3pm following reports of an assault to find Mr Fishwick, 86, lying motionless on the floor with severe facial injuries. He was rushed to hospital but died on Saturday morning.

A spokesman for Lancashire Constabulary said: ”Prior to the assault, Mr Fishwick had gone outside to speak to a group of youths who were congregating in a stairway near to his home.

”During the interaction, Mr Fishwick was punched to the face by one of the group who all then ran off.

”Officers attended and found Mr Fishwick with facial injuries. He later attended hospital but sadly died on Saturday morning.

”A post-mortem examination found the cause of death to be bleeding as a result of fractures to the nose, consistent with being assaulted.

”An investigation was launched and on Sunday a 19-year-old man from Preston was arrested on suspicion of murder.

“We are continuing to appeal for witnesses and are asking anybody who saw the incident or who has information about it to get in touch with us.”

The Crown Prosecution Service decided to charge Al Aaraj with manslaughter and he appeared before Preston Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday morning for a brief preliminary hearing.

He did not enter a plea and no application for bail was made, as District Judge Jane Hamilton told the accused: “This is a serious matter and can only be dealt with by a judge and jury at crown court.

“I’m transferring this matter now to the crown court where you will appear on October 12.”