Man in court over New Year's Day OAP murder

Scene of alleged murder

Scene of alleged murder

Two men have appeared in court in connection with the murder of a man on New Year’s Day.

It is understood victim Wenqing Xu, a 67-year-old man from China, suffered a fatal head injury.

Lancashire Police were alerted by the North West Ambulance Service at around 8.30am on New Year’s Day after Mr Xu was found unconscious and partially clothed on Hammond Street, Preston, close to Plungington Community Centre.

Mr Xu was taken to Royal Preston Hospital in a critical condition, where he died from his injuries.

He had suffered a head injury and police said it was believed he was the victim of a serious assault just before he was found.

Police sealed off an area near Barlow Street as a probe was launched by the Force Major Incident Team (FMIT).

Two men were subsequently charged on Wednesday night.

Preston man Nathan Richardson, who is accused of the pensioner’s murder, spoke only to confirm his name and current address on Bury Road, Bolton.

Wearing a grey sweatshirt the 19-year-old nodded as he was read the charge.

He was told he would be remanded into custody before being handcuffed and led to the cells.

Another defendant, Luke Jenkinson, 21, was brought into the dock separately.

The 22-year-old, of De Lacy Street, Ashton-on-Ribble, Preston, faces a charge of assisting an offender.

Three detectives watched the proceedings from the public gallery.

The magistrates bench committed to the case for a preliminary hearing at Preston Crown Court, where both men will appear on Friday morning.

Lancashire police said a 17-year-old boy who was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender has been bailed pending further enquiries.

His relatives are being kept informed by officers.

(case proceeding)