Court told of attack weeks before death

Allan Taylor
Allan Taylor

A “GENTLE GIANT” who gave up a taxi for an elderly couple, was later subjected to a vicious attack by another couple, it has been claimed.

Preston Crown Court heard how Allan Taylor sustained a fractured left ankle during the alleged attack outside a taxi firm in Fleetwood which was put in plaster at hospital.

But 16 weeks later the 28-year-old was found dead at home on Leven Avenue in the port when his immobility led to fatal blood clots.

A man and woman have gone on trial at Preston Crown Court where they both deny a charge of murder and an alternative charge of manslaughter.

The defendants are Leanne Potter, 28, and 23-year-old Jamie Perkes, both of Central Drive, Blackpool.

Opening the trial, Dennis Watson QC, prosecuting, the two defendants attacked Mr Taylor, a former RAF officer, in the early hours of New Year’s Day last year outside Fleetwood Taxis.

He added: “They knocked him to the ground and, as he lay on the ground, they attacked him with kicks and stamps to his head, body and legs.”

After going home, Mr Taylor was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital where it was confirmed he had a fractured left ankle.

He was found dead at home on April 22 last year.

The blood clots had been caused by his immobility, which was the result of his broken ankle.

Mr Watson added: “The prosecution say very simply Mr Taylor would not have died had it not been for the attack by these two on him on New Year’s Day.

“We accept they may not have intended to kill him.

“But such was the attack with kicks and stamps that even though they wouldn’t have intended to kill him, they must, we suggest, have intended to cause him serious bodily harm and that as such they are guilty of murder.”

Mr Taylor and a friend had been out and were later waiting in the taxi office of Fleetwood Taxis on Preston Street.

The friend, Michael Stewart, described him as a “lovely lad, a gentle giant and a really nice guy”.

An older couple came in wanting a taxi and when it arrived, Mr Taylor offered it to them.

Mr Watson said: “He even went out to help them into the cab.”

When another cab arrived, Perkes was said to have tried to get in with a drink, which the driver refused to allow.

Potter became involved and the defendants allegedly hurled drunken abuse while in the taxi office.

They demanded another cab and an off-duty driver came from the back office and told Perkes there was no need to swear. The defendant allegedly squared up to him.

Allan Taylor got up from his seat and walked towards the door. Mr Watson said both defendants were involved in what followed and “it was far more than a bit of pushing and shoving’’.

At one point, an eyewitness feared Mr Taylor might be dead.

Following her arrest, Potter denied assault.

Perkes claimed he had been struck first and lashed out in self defence.

The victim’s mum Jean Taylor told the court her son was not a fighter.

She added: “He said he was waiting at a taxi office, he got rugby tackled from behind, somebody kicked him in the head while somebody jumped on his leg.”

A plaster cast was placed from the toe to the top of his leg.

He had regular X-rays and but mobility did not improve and he was in constant pain in the days before he died.

(Proceeding)