CARING friends of a family coming to terms with the devastating death of a much-loved father-of-five are raising money to help them.

A fundraiser has been launched following the tragic death of Thomas Mallaby, who died two days after he was attacked on a petrol station forecourt.

A 15-year-old boy charged with his murder has now appeared before a judge and been remanded into custody his next hearing tomorrow.

Mr Mallaby, who was 40, and from Sacriston, died last Tuesday from injuries he sustained during the attack at Esso in Annfield Plain, Stanley.

The Northern Echo:

The attack took place on the forecourt at Esso in Annfield Plain 

It happened at 2.40am on Sunday September 26, leaving the community nearby stunned and his friends and relatives devastated.

Harley Greener, who knows Mr Mallaby’s wife, Sarah, and daughter, through the stables they both use said she wanted to do something to help.

Ms Greener, 29, from Stanley, said: “It is really sad for them. They are a big family and really close knit.

“It is one thing when a family member is poorly and you kind of know it is coming, but quite another when someone has just gone out and they don’t come back home.

“I don’t think it has quite hit them yet.”

Ms Greener has now set up an online fundraiser and is looking to support the family with the help of their friends at the stables.

On the Just Giving website she said: “This page has been created to raise money for the family to deal with the financial burden of losing a much loved family member and to help provide for the children that Thomas has left behind.

“This page is not to pay for the funeral, the cost of which has already been covered.”

Read more: Street named after brave youngster Bradley Lowery

The teenager suspected of carrying out the attack was arrested the day after on suspicion of GBH with intent, but Mr Mallaby, who had been taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle for treatment, died from his injuries on Tuesday.

Read more: Shock following death of man after attack at petrol station 

A post-mortem examination by a Home Office pathologist found Mr Mallaby’s injuries were consistent with a physical assault.

Detective Superintendent Dave Ashton, who is leading the investigation, said although the attack took place at a petrol station it is not thought to have been connected to the current fuel supply crisis. He also said the force was not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.

A report will prepared by police for the coroner who will be carrying out an inquest into the circumstances surrounding the death. It is expected to take place after the criminal proceedings.

He was rearrested last week and on Friday detectives confirmed he was facing a murder charge. He appeared before magistrates sitting in Newton Aycliffe on Saturday and a judge at Teesside Crown Court on Monday. Another hearing will take place at the same court on Wednesday.

To support the family click here 

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