Cig row death 'total waste'

A SHOCKED Sheffield newsagent whose 80-year-old dad died after a row with two customers outside his shop has branded his death "a total waste".

Saturday, 29th September 2007, 11:08 am
Updated Monday, 1st October 2007, 10:26 am

Lewis George Wiles died after following two men out of his son's shop on Langsett Road, Hillsborough, after they became abusive.

His son Mick, who has run his shop for around 30 years, said he saw his dad being pushed and then falling to the ground, smashing his head on the pavement.

He was rushed to the Northern General Hospital, but died a few hours later.

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The trouble stemmed from a row which broke out inside the shop when two men came in asking to buy single cigarettes instead of entire packets.

Mick said he was struggling to understand how an argument over cigarettes could escalate into such a serious situation.

He stood outside his shop on Saturday informing customers about the death and selling his regulars their papers from the pavement after his shop was cordoned off as a crime scene.

"It's stupid, it's madness - he has been killed all because of an argument over single cigarettes," he said. "These two lads came in asking for single cigarettes and were arguing with me for about 20 minutes and all I could keep saying to them was that the law is the law and I can't open a pack and sell them as singles.

"I don't know why my dad left the shop, maybe the lads were cheeky to him, I don't know, but he died over a pathetic and stupid argument.

"All I want to say to those two lads is 'was it worth it?'."

He described his dad, a retired steelworker and electrician, as "a quiet and decent man - a true gentleman".

"My dad was as fit as a fiddle, we would never have expected him to be robbed from us like this," added Mick."It is a total waste, just pointless."

Lewis' shocked wife Dorothy, 82, of Hurlfield Road, Gleadless, said: "He was a good husband and did good in the world. This has come as such a shock and it is all because of cigarettes apparently. What a waste."

Shocked customers today said elderly residents felt intimidated by gangs who regularly hang about outside the shop.

William Mason, 87, from the Langsett estate, said: "He was a quiet chap who would always do everything he could to help you, so to lose his life at 80 just trying to help his son is a terrible thing to have happened.

"There are always gangs hanging around the shop and making things difficult."

A 20-year-old man and 15-year-old boy arrested in connection with the incident have been bailed pending further inquiries.

Anyone with information should call the incident room at Moss Way police station on 0114 220 2020.

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