Thursday, 8 December 2011
Britain a country where an old man's death on a housing estate called Hatterlsley in a city called Manchester diminishes me
John Donne wrote the 'meditation' which became the following poem in 1624.
No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.
David Askew lived on this sprawling estate in East Manchester. He was 64 years old, had the mental age of a 10 year old child and is now dead and his death diminishes me.
At an inquest into his death the coroner found that he had been the victim of 'feral youths' who had tormented him for decades outside his house and that he had been 'unlawfully killed'.
David had lived with his brother, who also had learning difficulties and 90 year old mother, Rose, who told the inquest into her son’s death of the constant harassment from youths who had forced them to call police 88 times between 2004 and March last year before David, who suffered from heart disease, collapsed and died after being pestered for cigarettes.
Appearing before Tameside magistrates, a 19 year old admitted using 'intimidating, threatening and aggressive behaviour' towards David, was jailed for 16 months last year.
News report in which David can be seen biting his hand in frustration :
What a sad country Britain has become.