Murder suspect released on bail

Police left an appeal (below) in taxi offices around Blackpool following the death of a 50-year-old man, Stephen Butt, from Park Lane, Preesall, (above) and Det Supt Andy Murphy (bottom).
Police left an appeal (below) in taxi offices around Blackpool following the death of a 50-year-old man, Stephen Butt, from Park Lane, Preesall, (above) and Det Supt Andy Murphy (bottom).

A taxi driver who could hold evidence to help detectives in a murder investigation has come forward.

Police were appealing for the driver of a private hire vehicle to come forward after a man died following a night out in Blackpool on August 18.

Officers left this police appeal in taxi offices around Blackpool following the death of a 50-year-old man, Stephen Butt, from Preesall on August 18

Officers left this police appeal in taxi offices around Blackpool following the death of a 50-year-old man, Stephen Butt, from Preesall on August 18

The driver picked up three people from the resort taking them to Preesall in the early hours of the Sunday.

Stephen Butt, one of the passengers, collapsed outside his home on Park Lane, Preesall, at around 6am the same morning.

The 50-year-old was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Initially he was thought to have collapsed through illness, but police – who launched a murder investigation at the weekend – now believe he sustained a head injury after being assaulted.

Det Supt Andy Murphy

Det Supt Andy Murphy

Det Supt Andy Murphy, who is leading the investigation, said: “The taxi driver has come forward, given a statement and is helping us to determine what has happened.

“The inquiry is at an early stage but police are determined to find out exactly what has happened.”

A 30-year-old man from Manchester arrested on suspicion of murder on Sunday has now been released on bail pending further inquiries.

Two women, aged 50 and 25, both from the Manchester area, were arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice but were also released on police bail yesterday.

Taxi firms across Blackpool were approached by officers who left a police appeal in offices and for drivers.

It read: “Police urgently need to trace and speak to a taxi driver who may have witnessed an incident in the early hours of Sunday, August 18.”

Liam Baddeley, office supervisor for C Cabs on Caunce Street, Blackpool, said: “Police came in and asked for a witness appeal. It’s shocking.”

Anyone with information about Mr Butt’s death is asked to call police on 101.

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