Accrington man admits murdering pensioner Bill Howard and stealing from others

A man who left a pensioner to die in a street in Accrington after inflicting "serious heads injuries" has pleaded guilty to murder.

By Sean Gleaves
Friday, 14th January 2022, 3:20 pm

Bill Howard, 79, was found collapsed in St James Street at around 2pm on August 28, 2021.

He had suffered "serious head injuries" and was later pronounced dead at the scene.

A post-mortem examination found that Mr Howard had died as a result of fatal head and chest injuries.

John Swannack, 59, of Accrington, admitted murder at Preston Crown Court on Wednesday (January 12) and will be sentenced on March 15.

He also admitted two counts of theft and three of fraud in relation to other vulnerable people, Lancashire Police said.

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Speaking after his death, Mr Howard's brother Jack said he had been "a quiet, lovely man who would not hurt a fly".

John Swannack (pictured) also admitted two counts of theft and three of fraud in relation to other vulnerable people (Credit: Lancashire Police)

"Bill was my brother and he was also my best friend," he said.

"We have been together for nearly 80 years and now I have lost him forever."

Two other men who were arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with Mr Howard's have since been released with no further action.

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