‘We’ve had problems here but nothing like this’

Police at York Road in St Annes where a man was murdered

Police at York Road in St Annes where a man was murdered

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Horrified residents have today told of their shock after a neighbour was stabbed to death in an alleyway just yards from their homes.

Ian Dollery, 51, was found with stab wounds by police around 11.30pm on Thursday after reports a man had been assaulted outside an address on York Road in St Annes.

Police at York Road in St Annes where a man was murdered

Police at York Road in St Annes where a man was murdered

Mr Dollery was treated by paramedics but was pronounced dead at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

A 47-year-old man of no fixed address and a 54-year-old man from Lytham have been arrested on suspicion of murder and were in custody last night.

Police believe it is a random attack and a weapon has been recovered by officers.

Today neighbours told of their shock at Mr Dollery’s death, with one resident revealing they could hear cries for help from their bedroom following the attack.

We could see blue flashing lights from our bedroom

The neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said: “We heard all the commotion.

“We could see blue flashing police lights from our bedroom.

“We heard someone who was very, very distressed in the street.

“It sounded like a young girl shouting ‘help me, help me, I don’t know what to do.’

Police at York Road in St Annes where a man was murdered

Police at York Road in St Annes where a man was murdered

“We know the family quite well and always said hello. We have had a few problems down here with crime but nothing like this.

“When you know the people involved it is very distressing. We are in shock. It is just a horrible time.”

Another neighbour said three ambulances and five police cars attended the incident - describing the scene as “like something from a crime movie.”

He added: “We were just going to bed and heard lots of activity and vans racing past outside. We went to our gate to have a look - we knew it was serious from the amount of police presence.

Police at York Road in St Annes where a man was murdered

Police at York Road in St Annes where a man was murdered

“We thought it was some sort of domestic incident. The ends of the road were quickly blocked off.”

And another neighbour, who declined to be named, said he could see officers using torches to search the alleyway for evidence.

He added: “I was going to bed around 1am and could see a lot of activity from the back of my house in the alley.

“My family has owned this house for 50 years and I have never known anything like this.”

The attack took place in the rear yard of a property believed to belong to Mr Dollery, which leads onto Queens Road.

Detectives were at the address yesterday, with forensics teams screening off the crime scene for investigation.

It is believed the 51-year-old was an engineer and owned a book distribution service called Safari Books Ltd.

Neighbours said he was married and believed he had at least one child.

Insp Mark Thackeray-Scott of Fylde police, said extra patrols had been put on duty in the area to reassure residents.

He added: “Two men are still in custody awaiting questioning.

“Mr Dollery’s family have specially trained officers with them. I know it must be very worrying for people in the local community but we have arranged for extra officers to be on patrol in the area.

“Anyone with any concerns should approach police. There are no outside suspects at this time.

“Fylde is one of the safest areas to live in the county. These are extremely tragic circumstances. These are very rare of course but when they do happen we will support people with extra patrols.”

A spokesman for Lancashire police said: “We can now name the man who died in St Annes as 51-year-old Ian Dollery.

“The two men arrested on suspicion of murder still remain in police custody. It does seem to be a random attack.

“Our enquiries are on-going and Mr Dollery’s family are being supported by specially trained officers.

“We have a number of extra officers on patrol in the area to try to offer reassurance. Anyone with concerns should approach any police officer who will be able to help.”

• Anyone with any information is asked to call 101 quoting log 1561 of June 18 or alternatively they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at Crimestoppers-uk.org.