Lasting tribute to fatal alley attack victim

Mother and sister of James Whitelaw, who was found in an alleyway off Regent Road, Blackpool. Agness Whitelaw and Agness Whitelaw
Mother and sister of James Whitelaw, who was found in an alleyway off Regent Road, Blackpool. Agness Whitelaw and Agness Whitelaw
0
Have your say

The family of a man who died just days after he was discovered lying unconscious in a Blackpool alleyway have created a lasting tribute in his memory.

James Whitelaw, who was originally from Glasgow died from a severe bleed on the brain after he was attacked by school friend Frank McCartney in November last year.

At Preston Crown Court on Friday McCartney was jailed for eight years after admitting manslaughter.

In memory of her only son, Agnes Whitelaw has now created a lasting tribute in the form of a memorial bench in her garden.

Mrs Whitelaw, 69, said: “When my husband died 12 years ago I bought a memorial bench with a plaque on it.

“So when Jamie died it just felt right to do the same for him.

“I get lots of comfort being able to go outside and sit on the bench and remember him.

“He was taken too soon but having somewhere special really helps.”

The court heard former heroin addict McCartney attacked his 46-year-old victim in the communal area of a block of flats in Regent Road, Blackpool after accusing him of stealing a bag of heroin.

Prosecutors said witnesses saw McCartney stamp on Mr Whitelaw’s head three times while he was lying on the floor.

After being pulled away from his victim, McCartney then dragged him to a nearby alleyway leaving him to be found by a member of the public.

Paramedics were called but Mr Whitelaw died days later.

A murder investigation was launched and a second man Jack Tindall, 22, was charged with his murder following an assault three days earlier.

His charges were later reduced to grievous bodily harm and he was sentenced to an 18 month community order.