Trial date set for Preston teenager accused of killing 86-year-old army veteran

A trial date has been set for a Preston teenager accused of killing 86-year-old army veteran Frank Fishwick in Fulwood.

Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 12:34 pm
Mohammed Al Aaraj, 19, was due to appear at Preston Crown Court today (Tuesday, October 12) to enter a plea to a charge of manslaughter, but did not attend the hearing due to illness

Mr Fishwick died after allegedly being punched in the face during an altercation with youths outside his flat in The Paddock, Fulwood on Friday September 10.

The grandfather, who served with the Royal Engineers, suffered a broken nose and facial injuries.

He was taken to Royal Preston Hospital but died the following morning.

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Frank Fishwick (pictured) died following an assault outside his home in The Paddock, Fulwood on September 10, 2021. Pic: Lancashire Police

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

A murder investigation was launched and 19-year-old Al Aaraj, of Sheffield Drive, Preston was arrested on suspicion of murder on Sunday, September 12.

Following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, Lancashire Police charged the teenager with manslaughter instead of murder.

Today (Tuesday, September 12), Al Aaraj was due to appear at Preston Crown Court to enter a plea to the charges, but did not attend the hearing.

The court was told he was absent due to illness and was therefore unable to enter a plea.

Al Aaraj will stand trial at Preston Crown Court on March 14, 2022.

Following Mr Fishwick's death, his family described him as "an adored father and grandfather who will be sadly missed by family and friends."

They said: "He served in the Army Royal Corp of Engineers and committed his working life to Leyland Motors.

"He was well liked by his friends, offered a helping hand when needed and his humour brought cheer to many.

"Our thanks are extended to Lancashire Police who are working tirelessly to bring justice to an unforgivable act of violence."