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  1. ITV Report

Teenager charged over death of man who was punched because he didn't have a cigarette

Len's family said his death was a "true loss to the community". Photo: Merseyside Police

A 17-year-old boy has been charged with manslaughter after a 65-year-old man died in St Helens.

Len Saunders died on Sunday, just over a week after he was allegedly punched over a cigarette.

The 65-year-old was walking along Ward Street with his friend when they were approached by two younger men.

One of the men asked the victim and his friend if they smoked and if he could borrow a cigarette. When the pair said they didn’t smoke, Len was punched in the head and fell to the ground.

He was taken to hospital but died eight days later.

His family said "Len was a beautiful soul who dedicated his life to charity and volunteering work.

"He was a talented actor, poet and musician who never stopped helping people, even in his final moments.

"Born in St Helens he was deeply routed within the community in various projects and is sorely missed by all whose lives he touch.

"He was a much loved brother, uncle and good friend to all and our hearts are broken. A true loss to the community and to our family."

The 17-year-old has been remanded in custody to appear at Liverpool Magistrates Court on Wednesday.