Oddly Enough

Boy 10 arrested over death of 79-year-old man

A 10-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the death of a 79-year-old man who was found with a head injury, police have said.

The pensioner, named locally as Victor Hepworth, was discovered in Back Hill Top Avenue in the Harehills area of Leeds yesterday evening.

West Yorkshire Police were called to the scene just before 6.20pm, having been alerted by the ambulance service.

Paramedics took the man, who is thought to have lived on the street, to Leeds General Infirmary but he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Neighbours in Harehills, to the north-east of Leeds city centre, have spoken of their shock at the man's death and the arrest of the boy.

Krunal Sagathaya, who lives in Hill Top Avenue which is next to Back Hill Top Avenue, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: 'He's a really good guy. He used to play with all the children. I feel really sad.'

A 26-year-old woman who lives in the same street, who did not want to be named, told the newspaper: 'He was such a nice man. I can't believe what has happened. He was like a granddad to a lot of the kids. I don't think anyone would want to hurt him on purpose. He was part of us.'

Liaqat Ali, manager of the Abubakar supermarket on nearby Roundhay Road, said the victim was a regular customer and that he had seen him yesterday.

He said: 'The old gentleman used to come to the shop all the time, God rest his soul. I've been here for 10 years and he'd been living in the area at least that long. I think he had a son.

'I saw the old man walking around yesterday afternoon, but I didn't speak to him. He was quite well-known in the area.

'Everyone's surprised that this has happened. I'm shocked they've arrested a little kid.

'The police were around here until quite late last night, but we didn't see or hear anything. I only found out what had happened this morning.'

A forensic tent has been put up at the scene in Back Hill Top Avenue, a street of terraced houses, and the area has been cordoned off by police. 

A man whose mother lives in the street told Sky News the pensioner was always willing to help others.
The man, who was not named, said: 'He would go out of his way to help the community.

'He would put the bins out, he would pick litter up from the street, he would tell kids to put litter in the bins. He volunteered in the local church – he did that on a regular basis.'

The 10-year-old boy is in custody but officers are yet to formally speak to him, it is understood. Results of a post-mortem examination on the elderly man are expected later today.

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