Night-club bouncer gets life for killing man on beach

Thursday 05 May 1994 23:02
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(First Edition)

A night-club bouncer who attacked a man on Blackpool beach and drowned him in the sea was jailed for life yesterday.

Gary Ward, 20, kicked and jumped on Mark White near the Central Pier, hitting him several times with a knuckle-duster, Preston Crown Court was told. He then held Mr White's head under the water with his boot until he drowned. He admitted murder.

James Docherty, 19, who took part in the attack, was sentenced to 10 years after pleading guilty to manslaughter, and number of unrelated offences including robbery, assault, and deception.

The court was told that Mr White, 25, from Radcliffe, Manchester, was working at a Blackpool hotel. He was attacked by the two men - both from Blackpool - as he walked back to his digs on 7 September last year. A post- mortem examination revealed he suffered 71 injuries, including 14 fractured ribs.

The court was told that Ward and Docherty worked for a firm which provided doormen for pubs. Mr White was attacked because they believed he had given them trouble a few days earlier. Ward was said to have completely lost control. Docherty, who denied involvement in the drowning, 'felt he was teaching a disobedient customer a lesson'. Both men will begin their sentences in a young offenders' institution.

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