Date: 18 Jan 2017
Place: Stanage Walk, Grimsby
John Roach died five days after a fire at his home after his wheelie bin was set on fire outside his home.
The wheelie bin had been set on fire and then pushed up against his front door on Friday 13 January 2017. He was taken to hospital and later released but died soon after on Wednesday 18 January 2017. However, his cause of death was given as being due to pneumonia and said to have been unrelated to the fire, although his family said that they were certain that the fire and actions of local youths had contributed to his death.
The wheelie bin had been dowsed in petrol before being pushed up against his door and a similar incident had occurred before.
A 13-year-old boy was arrested soon after on suspicion of arson but nothing more is known.
It was also noted that following John Roach's funeral in May 2017 that his 37-year-old niece died from a heart attack. She died the day after his funeral and it was said that she had been greatly upset and angry over his death.
John Roach's sister said that she thought that John Roach had died of 'fright and terror' following nearly two years of abuse from local youths near his home. She said that the abuse had become so bad that John Roach didn't think it was safe to walk to his local pub, the White Bear a short stroll away, and would take a taxi instead. She said that he was scared of what he might face on the street.
It was noted also that the previous summer John Roach had put out another wheelie bin fire that had also been pushed up against his door and his sister said that the local kids would shout abuse at John Roach and throw stones at him.
His family said that after John Roach had come out of hospital that he was clearly traumatised by the whole thing and that they felt that the actions of the local youths over the years had clearly led to his death.
They said that when John Roach had come out of hospital that all he had wanted to do was go back to his flat and be left to himself, but that there was nothing there as it had all been destroyed in the fire and that they had had to go out and buy him new clothes and things.
His sister said, 'Someone who lives in the area is bound to have some information that will lead to the prosecution of these culprits. What they did has ruined a number of lives, and we all miss my brother so much, and I know that other families have been badly affected by trouble in the area, and I don't want to see any other families left in the same position as us. I have attempted to find out what is going on with the police, but despite my calls we are still in the dark, when all we want is some contact to know what is happening, and that my brother has not been forgotten'.
It was said that John Roach was at one point the best fish filleter in Grimsby and a 'Freeman Street legend'.