Teenager dies a week after racist attack

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A white teenager who was severely beaten in what police believe was a racist attack has died from his injuries. Gavin Hopley, 19, suffered massive head injuries in the assault, which took place in a predominantly Asian area of Oldham eight days ago.

As the news broke, police immediately stepped up their high visibility operation on the streets of the town, after receiving word that the National Front were planning a march. The organisation had planned the action, in protest at the attack on Mr Hopley, before the news of his death.

Mr Hopley, from Heywood near Bury, had been injured in an unprovoked attack while trying to hail a taxi home with two friends in the early hours of last Saturday morning. The three strayed into the district of Glodwick, which has a high Pakistani population and a history of hostility towards white people, and were set upon by a gang of Asians carrying sticks. Mr Hopley, a security guard, was beaten ferociously about the head. The other two youths, aged 16 and 17, managed to escape.

Mr Hopley never regained consciousness after the attack and died on Friday night in the intensive care unit of North Manchester General Hospital, surrounded by his family, who were said to be too upset to discuss the tragedy.

Two men from Glodwick, aged 21 and 29, who have not been named, were arrested yesterday morning on suspicion of murder. They will appear before magistrates again on Tuesday. Two teenagers, aged 17 and 18, had already been arrested earlier in the week and charged in connection with the incident.