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Vulnerable man 'unlawfully killed'

A vulnerable man who died after suffering 30 years of torment by yobs was unlawfully killed, a coroner has ruled.

David Askew, 64, who had a mental age of 10, was plagued by gangs of youths for decades outside his house on a sprawling council estate in Hattersley, east Manchester.

John Pollard, coroner for South Manchester, blamed "feral youths" for the victim's torment and ruled that despite lawyers deciding no-one could be charged with manslaughter, Mr Askew had been unlawfully killed.

Mr Askew lived with his brother, who also had learning difficulties, and elderly mother Rose, 90, who told the inquest into her son's death of the constant harassment from youngsters.

They called police 88 times between January 2004 and March last year before Mr Askew, who suffered from heart disease, collapsed and died on March 10 2010 after being pestered for cigarettes.

Youths had reportedly thrown a wheelie bin around and tampered with his mother's mobility scooter.

Kial Cottingham, 19, who lived doors away later pleaded guilty to harassing Mr Askew and was jailed for 16 months last year.

Lawyers for the Crown Prosecution Service said there was no evidence to charge Cottingham with manslaughter.

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