Kirkby murder of a freelance security adviser

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Police believe a row between bar workers in the Kirkby area of Liverpool is behind the murder of a freelance security adviser beaten to death in a city pub at the weekend. Stephen Cole, 37, from Fazakerley, died when a mob of around 10 men burst into the pub with baseball bats, knives, and a machete.

Mr Cole, a former Liverpool soccer player, was forced back into an alcove where he had been having a drink with his wife. He was attacked with a variety of weapons, including baseball bats and CS gas. The gang fled and Mr Cole was taken to hospital, but he died shortly afterwards.

Mr Cole had been advising licensees about employing bouncers and how they should handle customers. Last summer he was cleared of attempted murder at Liverpool Crown Court after he denied trying to shoot Thomas Cross, 28, outside another Fazakerley pub in August 1994.

Detectives are linking Mr Cole's murder to a violent attack on another man in Kirkby, Merseyside, last week, and say they believe it was connected to a dispute between two rival factions among doormen. Jason Bennetto