Man rearrested after fatal attack on pensioner

Burns Avenue South, Houghton.
Burns Avenue South, Houghton.
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A PENSIONER has died after being assaulted in his own home.

John Farrow was left in a critical condition during an incident at his Houghton home, in the early hours of January 20.

The 74-year-old was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital after the attack, but he died five days later, police have now revealed.

A post-mortem examination will take place over the coming days.

A 33-year-old man arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm has now been rearrested on suspicion of manslaughter and bailed pending further inquiries.

Officers were called to the elderly man’s home in Burns Avenue South at 2.31am last Sunday, after reports of someone banging on the front door.

A 30-year-old man was arrested after the incident on suspicion of assault and released on police bail.

The death of Mr Farrow, who lived with his wife Jean, has shocked the community.

“It is dreadful what has happened,” said a neighbour, who did not want to be named. “He was a quiet man.

“It is really shocking that something like this could happen in our street.

“It is a quiet place and nothing like this has ever happened in all the time I have lived here.”

Another said: “John was a good bloke. He had been ill for a long time as well. This is just a nightmare.”

Neighbours said Mr Farrow had children living nearby and they were a close-knit family.

Mrs Farrow and her family were too upset to speak about the tragedy yesterday.

Northumbria Police said the investigation is on-going and confirmed the alleged attacker was not known to the victim.

Detective Chief Inspector Christina Barrett, of Northumbria Police, said: “We are working to establish the full circumstances of this incident, and would urge anyone who has information to contact police if they saw or heard anything unusual in the early hours of Sunday morning.

“Neighbourhood officers have been out and about in the area over recent days to reassure local residents.”

Anyone who has information is urged to contact police on the non-emergency number 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.