Yet another death related to disability hate crime
Thursday 11 March 2010
Manchester man dies after years of harassment
David Askew, who had a learning disability, died of a suspected heart attack on 10 March. He had become agitated after two young people broke down his gate and entered his garden.
Mr Askew had been targeted repeatedly over the course of a decade, with teenagers throwing stones at him and breaking the windows of his home. An 18-year-old man is being questioned on suspicion of manslaughter.
Peter Fahy, chief constable of the Greater Manchester Police, said: “We have been working very closely with the family and dealing with some of the offenders. It got to the stage that we were working with the council to get David re-housed; the fact is that’s taken too long and David died before that came through.”
A number of tragic deaths of people with a learning disability have hit the headlines recently. Andrew Gardner was starved, tortured and eventually killed by his partner Clare Nicholls and her brother at a house in County Durham. They were jailed for his murder in January.
And a coroner recently criticised Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council for failing to protect Fiona Pilkington and her family. She killed herself and her disabled daughter in 2007 after suffering years of abuse.
Mark Goldring, Mencap's chief executive, said: “We call on all police forces to accurately record the true scale of targeted harassment and violence against people with a disability. Without this knowledge people will continue to suffer and die.
“Hate crimes of all levels against people with a learning disability must be treated as seriously as race hate crime if cases like this are not to be repeated.”
Find out more about Mencap’s campaign against hate crime