Pals rally round after thug attack

Pensioner Frank Gardner still struggles to walk four months after being viciously attacked and robbed in his own home.

Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 5:07 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th June 2017, 1:55 pm
Photo Neil Cross
Frank Gardner, 92, who was robbed and beaten by a man in his own home, with his brother Ralph and friends Ken Fitzgerald, Ian Skillen, Ian Parkinson and Chris Brindle
Photo Neil Cross Frank Gardner, 92, who was robbed and beaten by a man in his own home, with his brother Ralph and friends Ken Fitzgerald, Ian Skillen, Ian Parkinson and Chris Brindle

But the pain in his back and right arm are more bearable than the anger he feels at lawyers who let his alleged attacker go free.

“It stinks,” said the 92-year-old who has been too frightened to leave his bungalow in Ashton, Preston since the attack in February. “I feel very let down. How much more evidence do they need to take this thug to court?”

Frank fell victim to a conman builder who tried to fleece him for work which hadn’t been carried out and then turned on him in a violent rage to steal his savings of £1,200. Police arrested a man who Frank identified from mugshots. The suspect’s van had been spotted in the area at the time of the attack and his mobile phone was tracked to the scene. A 41-year-old was charged with robbery and burglary and was sent to the city’s crown court for trial. But the Crown Prosecution Service dropped the case citing insufficient evidence of identification and the man was released.

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Photo Neil Cross Frank Gardner, 92, who was robbed and beaten by a man in his own home, with his brother Ralph and friends Ken Fitzgerald, Ian Skillen, Ian Parkinson and Chris Brindle

“I can’t believe they aren’t doing him,” said Frank. “The police have told me they can’t believe it either and they aren’t looking for anyone else.It sounds like they can’t trust me as a witness in court because I’m 92. It’s ridiculous. I can remember everything clearly even though it’s four months ago.”

A police spokeman said: “We charged a man and he was due to appear in court. But it’s in the hands of the CPS after that.”

A spokesman for the CPS said: “We took the view that there was insufficient evidence of identification to prove that he was the person who had committed the offences. We can’t go into all the details, but there is not going to be a prosecution.”

Photo Neil Cross Frank Gardner, 92, who was robbed and beaten by a man in his own home, with his brother Ralph and friends Ken Fitzgerald, Ian Skillen, Ian Parkinson and Chris Brindle