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Church-going Army veteran, 82, dies after being punched in head while waiting for a bus

Church-going Army veteran, 82, dies after being punched in head while waiting for a bus – as two 13-year-old boys and 16-year-old are arrested

  • Dennis Clarke, 82, was punched in the head while queueing at Derby bus station
  • Ex-Army veteran was rushed to hospital on May 6, where he died nine days later
  • Two 13-year-old boys and a 16-year-old have been arrested and released on bail
  • Friends and family described Mr Clarke as ‘lovely’ and ‘fit, active and healthy’

A church-going Army veteran who loved fishing has died after being punched in the head while waiting for a bus in a ‘mindless’ attack. 

Dennis Clarke, 82, was assaulted in a queue at Derby bus station while making his way home from a solo shopping trip on May 6, his friend and neighbour said.  

The Christian fisherman, who had no children and was unmarried, was subsequently rushed to hospital, where he died nine days later.

Police said the ex-soldier was attacked during an argument with a group of youths after a dispute in the Eagle Market, around the Morledge area.  

Three teenagers – two 13-year-olds and one 16-year-old – have been arrested in connection with the pensioner’s death and since released on bail. Derbyshire Police is treating the attack as an isolated incident. 

Mr Clarke was described by loved ones as ‘fit, active and healthy’ and looking forward to turning 100 to get his Telegram from the Queen. 

Dennis Clarke, 82, was assaulted in a queue at Derby bus station while making his way home from a solo shopping trip on May 6, his friend and neighbour said

His friend Kath Foster paid tribute to him 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.’ 

‘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,’ she told the Sun.

Mr Clarke’s niece wrote on social media that she ‘loves him so much’ following his hospitalisation after the attack earlier this month.

‘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,’ she said.

Mr Clarke’s nephew Ricky Davey wrote on Facebook on Saturday: ‘Those of you who knew Dennis, he has passed away this morning peacefully.

Police said the ex-soldier was attacked during an argument with a group of youths after a dispute in the Eagle Market, around the Morledge area

Police said the ex-soldier was attacked during an argument with a group of youths after a dispute in the Eagle Market, around the Morledge area

‘I don’t want any negative comments on how he’s died or who done it. I just want to remember him the way he was.

‘And just to say what an absolute legend Dennis was. Absolutely heartbroken. My great uncle, my best friend, RIP.’  

A spokesman for 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.

Derby City Council said: ‘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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