The tragic events which saw Paul Atherton jailed for killing Ryan Harvey on Central Drive, Blackpool
Details have emerged of the tragic series of events which saw Paul Atherton jailed for life for killing Ryan Harvey on June 25, 2022 on Central Drive, in Blackpool.
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A man murdered on a Blackpool street was attacked after admiring his killer’s car.
Details have emerged of the tragic series of events which saw Paul Atherton jailed for life for killing Ryan Harvey on June 25, 2022 on Central Drive, in Blackpool. Mr Harvey and his friends had been on a day trip with fellow Walsall Football Club supporters to visit Blackpool. As the group were returning to meet their coach to travel back home, Atherton drove past them in his black Audi A6. After Mr Harvey commented on liking the car, the 38-year-old stopped his car and without provocation or warning, he ran at and kicked the 22-year-old to the back, knocking him to the floor. A friend of Atherton, Thomas Heaney, 33, who happened to be passing, joined in with the violence and punched Mr Harvey knocking him to the floor a second time. When the group remonstrated with Atherton, he assaulted a female friend of Mr Harvey, by kicking her in the stomach. During the melee, Atherton returned to his car for a metal bar which he swung at the group, before returning to his car and starting to leave.
Mr Harvey kicked out at the rear of Atherton’s car as he left. Atherton pulled up and ran back to Mr Harvey to deliver a final blow which knocked him unconscious. Mr Harvey died as a result of the blunt trauma to his head three days later on June 28, 2022. Heaney pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and was sentenced in June this year to 10 months imprisonment. At the start of the trial Atherton pleaded guilty to manslaughter, but following the trial he has been found guilty of his murder. He was also found guilty common assault against a woman and possession of an offensive weapon.
Yesterday, Atherton was sentenced to life imprisonment and told he must serve 16 years behind bars.
Joanne Close, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West said: “This is a truly shocking case involving unprovoked violence during the day in a busy town centre, which resulted in the death of an innocent man who was simply admiring a passing car, and his three friends being injured. “Paul Atherton claimed he had acted in self-defence, but today after careful consideration of the evidence we presented to the jury, including CCTV and eyewitness evidence, they have found him guilty of murdering Ryan Harvey and assaulting his friend.”