Francis Farrell death: Man jailed after admitting manslaughter

David Horner
Image caption David Horner was ordered to serve three years and four months in prison

A man has been jailed over the death of a 56-year-old who was found on a street in Greater Manchester.

Francis Farrell was found with head injuries in Frog Lane, Wigan, in the early hours of 17 June. He died in hospital three days later.

David Horner, 23, of Scholes, Wigan, admitted manslaughter and was sentenced to three years and four months in prison at Liverpool Crown Court.

Police said Horner had injured Mr Farrell in an unprovoked attack.

He had been out with a friend in Wigan when they ran out of money and walked to an address just off Frog Lane to pick up some extra cash.

On their way back, Horner became separated from his friend and began to pester passers-by for a cigarette.

Police said his friend heard a noise and turned to see Horner running towards him and a man lying in the road.

Mr Farrell was later found unconscious by a passing taxi driver who called an ambulance.

A post-mortem examination found the cause of death was a head injury.

"Shocking end"

Det Ch Insp Phil Reade said: "Francis was attacked in the early hours of Sunday 17 June whilst minding his own business on his way home after enjoying a night out in Wigan town centre.

Image caption Francis Farrell was found with head injuries in Frog Lane, Wigan, on 17 June

"Horner, desperate for a cigarette, carried out a totally unprovoked attack which ended in tragedy.

"He left Francis lying in the road, unconscious and seriously injured and carried on with his night out as though nothing had happened."

Adding: "Francis' family and friends have been left devastated and are still finding it hard to come to terms with his loss."

His family issued a statement saying Mr Farrell - known as 'France' to his friends - would be "sadly missed".

"We don't understand why this senseless tragedy happened to him.

"Francis was the kind of person who, when he made friends, they were to be his lifelong friends."

The statement continued: "As he grew older, he liked a pint and enjoyed a good night out, like the majority of us do.

"Sadly, this is when his life came to a shocking end."

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