Man Found Guilty Of Murdering 22-Year-Old Walsall FC Fan In Blackpool

Paul Atherton, 38, of Knowsley Crescent, Thornton (pictured above) has today (Wednesday 1st November) been found guilty of murder has been found guilty of murdering 22-year-old Ryan Harvey in Blackpool on Saturday 25th June.

Police were called to Central Drive in Blackpool at 5.33 p.m. on that day following reports of people fighting. Officers who attended found a man with a serious head injury.

The man, 22-year-old Ryan David Harvey from Walsall (pictured below) was taken to Royal Preston Hospital for treatment but he never recovered and was sadly pronounced deceased on Tuesday 28th June.

A post-mortem examination concluded that the cause of Ryan’s death was blunt head trauma.

The Major Investigation Team launched a murder inquiry, and two men were subsequently charged.

Following a trial at Preston Crown Court Paul Atherton, 38, of Knowsley Crescent, Thornton was today found guilty of murder.

A second man had earlier admitted a charge of assaulting Mr Harvey.

Thomas Heaney, 32, of Cross Street, Fleetwood was originally charged with murder following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, but he admitted a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and the murder charge was dropped. He was sentenced earlier.

The court heard that while both Atherton and Heaney punched Ryan Harvey, it is clear from the CCTV and expert medical evidence that Atherton struck the fatal blow.

Atherton was also convicted of assault and possession of an offensive weapon in a public place. He will be sentenced tomorrow (Thursday 2nd November).

The murdered Walsall supporter, 22-year-old Ryan Harvey is pictured below.

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