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Killer jailed after man punched dead for pointing out they can’t park on a taxi bay

Updated: May 27

Anthony Harley (Image credit: Lancashire Police)

The father of a man who died after being punched for pointing out to a motorist that they can’t park on taxi bay in Blackpool, has spoken of his heartbreak after his son’s killer was jailed.

Anthony Harley, 53, sadly died in hospital a month after he was punched by Harry Fowle on Church Street in the resort on 19 February.

At about 8.30pm Mr Harley approached a car parked in a taxi bay and told the occupants they could not park there.

He was then approached by Harry Fowle who confronted him and punched him once making him fall and bang the back of his head causing the trauma which would take his life on 17 March.

Fowle, 34, was originally arrested on suspicion of Section 18 wounding and was charged with manslaughter following Anthony Harley’s death.

He pleaded guilty to manslaughter in February and was sentenced at Preston Crown Court on Tuesday 21 May. He was jailed for 1 year and 10 months.

In a victim personal statement Anthony Harley’s father Paul said: “The year 2023 has been a difficult one for me and all of my family. My wife Anne, who I was married to for 57 years, was diagnosed with cancer in December 2022 and she shockingly died soon after on 17th January 2023. We were all grieving and absolutely heartbroken as a family.

“Then my son’s life was taken away in the most soul-destroying way leaving me without my son and his sisters without their younger brother.

“I remember a phone call telling me Anthony had been involved in an incident and was in intensive care. I fell to pieces and was devastated at hearing this. It felt like a bomb was being dropped on our lives.

“We were asked as a family to attend the hospital some three and a half weeks after the assault on Anthony. We were told the doctors had done everything they could, and Anthony’s brain had died.

“Having to turn the machines off and take out the tubes that were keeping Anthony alive was absolutely heartbreaking. This is more or less saying goodbye at that point, and it absolutely ripped our hearts out. It didn’t feel real, and it is something which we will never get over. As a parent I never considered the thought of my son dying before me.”

Det Insp Simon Pritchard, Force Major Investigation Team, said: “This case once again shows the devastating consequences which can result from a single punch and my thoughts today are with Mr Harley’s family who have lost a much-loved son and brother.”


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