Lancashire Police detective issues statement as Preston man jailed for life after murdering father

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Police have described the attack as a ‘cowardly crime’ after the 37-year-old repeatedly punched his father in the head.

A man who subjected his dad to a “callous” and “violent attack” in Preston has been jailed for life for his murder.

Today, Austin Duckworth was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 17 years behind bars before being eligible for parole after murdering his father Stephen Duckworth.

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Austin Duckworth refused to stand before the court to hear the outcome of his sentencing.

Speaking on behalf of the Duckworth family, DCI Jill Riley, from the Lancashire Police Major Investigation Team, said: “This was a callous, cowardly and violent attack and one which left the victim with non-survivable injuries.

“This is a very rare case where a murder victim was able to provide an account of the attack to the police, which was played to the jury during this trial. 

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“This was extremely upsetting for members of Stephen’s family who were present in court, and I must thank them for the way in which they conducted themselves throughout the trial and for the support that they have given to this investigation. 

“Following his arrest, Austin has never accepted any guilt or responsibility nor has he offered any explanation as to why he was so violent towards his elderly father.”

“I am pleased that justice has been served today and hope this goes in some way to providing comfort to Stephen’s family.”

Austin Duckworth breached his bail conditions when he visited his dad Stephen Duckworth on St George’s Road on August 26, 2023.

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The 37-year-old repeatedly punched his father in the head after forcing his way into his home. He then told him he better call an ambulance.

Stephen suffered a “devastating bleed to the brain” in the attack and later died in hospital (Credit: Lancashire Police)Stephen suffered a “devastating bleed to the brain” in the attack and later died in hospital (Credit: Lancashire Police)
Stephen suffered a “devastating bleed to the brain” in the attack and later died in hospital (Credit: Lancashire Police) | Lancashire Police

Stephen was able to contact the police and provided an account of what had happened, but he initially declined medical attention.

The 72-year-old called for an ambulance later that same evening after becoming increasingly unwell as the day progressed.

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It was subsequently discovered that Stephen had suffered a “devastating bleed to the brain”.

He died from his injuries on October 12. A post-mortem examination revealed the cause of Stephen’s death was blunt force head trauma.

Austin Duckworth, 37, of no fixed address, was found guilty of murder following a five-day trial at Preston Crown Court.