A 64-year-old man’s decision to defend his property cost him his life, a court heard.
Statements from both the man himself and his daughter said that a brutal attack put his health in a downwards spiral and accelerated his death.
Retired Stuart Ridgway confronted three drunken youths who had been dancing and running over parked cars in Lytham.
The trio, who cannot be named for legal reasons but come from Lytham, terrorised the area at night on August 12 last year, Blackpool Youth Court heard.
Sentencing two of them, District Judge Jeff Brailsford told the court: “There is not sufficient respect in our society. These louts showed no respect for an old man.”
“These youths showed utter disrespect for one of their elders and betters.”
The third youth denies assault.
When Mr Ridgway confronted the teenagers he received a torrent of abuse before they turned on him, punching him to the ground. He was then kicked in the head, leaving him unconscious.
Magistrates heard that Mr Ridgway’s life was never the same again and statements read to the hearing said that Mr Ridgway and his family believed it led to his death four months later.
The prosecution said it could not prove the attack caused his death, but added the statements showed the effect it had had on him.
Mr Ridgway suffered two black eyes, an ear injury and had numerous cuts to his face and head.
He was treated for his injuries in hospital and allowed home the following day.
The man’s daughter, Natalie Lee, said: “When he returned home from hospital after the attack he was still in pain and discomfort. He had bleeding behind an eye and in the middle ear. He lost his confidence.”
The two youths admitted causing £1,000 of damage to a car belonging to Mr Ridgway’s son–in–law and £350 of damage to Mr Ridgway’s Ford vehicle.
They both admitted assaulting Mr Ridgway causing actual bodily harm. A 15-year-old has denied assault.
A post-mortem examination showed Mr Ridgway died from pneumonia.
The two youths were given referral orders and will be monitored by the Youth Offending Team for a year.