Mohammed Al Aaraj,19, has been sentenced to four years in a young offenders institution at Preston Crown Court today (Wednesday, March 16).
Frank Fishwick lived in a flat on the Paddock, close to Preston College, where students were often seen hanging around a stairwell.
The 86-year-old was at home on September 10 last year when a number of students, including Al Aaraj, began congregating there.
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.
The pensioner, frustrated with the situation, used racist language towards one of the teenagers, which he later apologised for.
It was at this point that Mohammed Al Aaraj climbed the stairs towards Mr Fishwick, where he lashed out and hit him on the nose before he and his friends ran off.
Mr Fishwick’s nose began to bleed immediately and went back inside his home to call the police. He told officers he did not wish to seek any medical attention.
His nose continued to bleed and later that day, an ambulance was called and Mr Fishwick was taken to Royal Preston Hospital shortly after 9 pm.
He died in hospital the following morning and 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 Mohammed Al Aaraj, 19, of Sheffield Drive, Preston, was arrested and subsequently charged with manslaughter.
He initially denied the offence and a trial was fixed, but the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) was able to produce CCTV footage, eyewitness evidence and Frank’s initial account from the police officers’ body worn video.
When faced with the overwhelming strength of that evidence, the teenager pleaded guilty on December 10, 2021 and today at Preston Crown Court he was sentenced to four years in in a young offenders institution.
In a statement, Mr Fishwick’s family said: “The assault of an elderly, frail person is unconscionable. A life taken cannot be restored, nor the act of forgiveness for a violent offence be offered or given.
"The untimely death of a father, grandfather, and loved one and the manner in which it occurred has been life-changing and created a profound, indescribable sadness.
“We would like to thank the investigation team for their hard work in carrying out the investigation following the assault and untimely death.
"Immense gratitude is extended to the Family Liaison Officers who have supported us through this incredibly difficult period of our lives.
"We often take for granted the very things that deserve our gratitude, including public services.
"Having been closely involved with the police over the past months and experienced first-hand what they do, we are thankful for the services they provided and impressed by their commitment to duty.”