Family of ‘lovely’ fisherman, 82, who died 9 days after bus ‘attack’ blast ‘mindless fool’ after two boys, 13, arrested

THE FAMILY of a "lovely" fisherman who died nine days after being punched has blasted the "mindless" attacker as three teens are arrested.

Dennis Clarke, 82, was punched in the head as he was queuing at a bus stop to go home from a solo shopping trip, his friend and next-door neighbour said tonight.


The 82-year-old, who was a keen fisherman and churchgoer, was “fit, active and healthy” and looking forward to reaching his 100th birthday.

Three people, including two 13-year-old boys, have been arrested following the attack.

They have since been released on bail with police treating the attack as an isolated incident.

Heartbroken Kath Foster paid tribute to her pal as “a lovely old man who never had a bad word to say about anybody and didn’t have a bad bone in his body.”

She told the Sun Online: “He was fit, active and healthy and he was looking forward to reaching 100 to get his Telegram from the Queen.

"He probably would have made it if his life hadn’t been so cruelly taken away.

“What happened is mind blowing and just so senseless.”

One of Dennis' family members wrote that she "loves him so much" after her uncle was hospitalised following the attack.

'LOVELY MAN'

His niece wrote on social media: "Just need to share this fun time with my dad's twin brother, uncle Dennis, who is hospitalised by one mindless fool who thinks it's alright to punch an 80-year-old.

"Just pray our uncle recovers from this love him so much."

Dennis, who lived alone in Derby, enjoyed solo weekly shopping weekly trips into the city.

Kath, 73, explained: “He’s always got the bus into town every Thursday. The last time I saw him was on the day he was attacked.

"I waved at him and said ‘Have a drink for me.’

“He grinned back, he always had a smile on his face. That was the last time I saw him."

Kath, who had lived next door to him for 13 years and always made him a Sunday roast, told of her “complete shock and disbelief" when she found out from the police and his nephew that he had died.

Dennis, “who lived for his fishing and the church”, was embroiled in an altercation with a group of teens at Eagle Market on the afternoon of May 6.

The gang followed him across the road to Derby Bus Station where he was attacked as he waiting for a bus home.

He sadly died nine days later in hospital.

Three teenage boys – two aged 13 and a 16-year-old – have been arrested in connection with his death and released on police bail.

FAMILY FURY

Dennis, a former Army veteran, never married or had children.

Kath, added: “He had a girlfriend he was devoted to but she died about 50 years ago from cancer and he stayed single.

“We’ll miss him dearly, he didn’t deserve this.”

Derbyshire Police said: "A man has died following an alleged assault at Derby bus station earlier this month.

"An investigation is underway following the death, the victim’s family is being supported by specialist officers and our thoughts are with them at this time.

"While several witnesses have come forward, officers are particularly keen to hear from anyone who may have any footage of the assault, or the moments before or after the incident.

"While understandably upsetting to the community, we would like to reassure people that we believe this to be an isolated incident."

Anyone with information has been asked to contact Derbyshire Police on 101.

In a statement Derby City Council added: “Derby City Council and all colleagues at the bus station offer their condolences to the family of the victim in this terrible attack.

"We will continue to help the police with their enquiries in every possible way.”

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