MANSLAUGHTER: Teen, 16, charged with killing Blackpool man Michael Rhodes

Michael Rhodes, 47,
Michael Rhodes, 47,

A teenager has been charged with the manslaughter of a man who died after being punched to the ground.

The 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had been charged with causing grievous bodily harm following the attack on Michael Rhodes (pictured right), which happened outside a corner shop.

But prosecutors upgraded the charge after Mr Rhodes, 47, died in hospital, with the boy now set to appear in court on Monday, a spokesman for Lancashire Police said.

The attack on Mr Rhodes took place outside Costcutters in Exchange Street, North Shore, on Saturday, May 20.

The rock music fan was taken to Royal Preston Hospital, where he remained in a critical condition for weeks before his death on June 11, more than three weeks later.

He left behind a nine-year-old daughter Lilliegh, and was also survived by older sister Jane, younger brother Andrew, and mum Margaret.

“We acknowledge the cruel and senseless way in which Michael died,” celebrant Graham Goldstone Creasy said at Mr Rhodes’s funeral.

“There are no words which in any way can express how we feel in the face of such a tragic and unnecessary loss.”

Paying tribute to her brother, 49-year-old Jane Parkinson said: “Michael was a nice, friendly, outgoing man.”

And Mark Butcher, founder of the Amazing Graze soup kitchen where Mr Rhodes was a familiar face, added: “He was a very polite, well-mannered Christian boy. He had a good character.

She said her brother’s death had taken its toll on the family, who were devastated by the news.

“It has been a dreadful time for all of us,” she added.

The 16-year-old is due to appear before Preston Crown Court on Monday.