A MAN has been sentenced to five years in prison for the manslaughter of a “gentle giant”.
Allan Taylor died four months after an horrific assault at Fleetwood Taxis on Preston Street in the town.
The 28-year-old was kicked and stamped on as he lay defenceless on the floor on New Year’s Day last year.
Jamie Perkes, of Central Drive, Blackpool, and Leanne Potter, also of Central Drive, were both arrested in May 2010 on suspicion of wounding with intent but later re-arrested in December 2010 and charged with his murder.
Perkes, 23, was convicted of manslaughter after a trial at Preston Crown Court last month while his 28-year-old girlfriend Potter was found guilty of common assault and given a conditional discharge.
Sentencing Perkes yesterday, Judge Anthony Russell QC said: “One of the many tragic aspects of this case is that this few moments of foolishness and loss of control on your part have taken away one life, ruined yours and devastated the lives of two very decent families.”
Mr Taylor suffered facial injuries and a broken ankle in the attack. He was found dead 16 weeks later at his home on Leven Avenue, Fleetwood, on April 22 last year.
A post mortem revealed the cause of death was a blood clot, which was consistent with the injuries he received to his ankle during the assault.
Preston Crown Court had been told Mr Taylor, a former RAF member, had been out in Fleetwood with a friend before going to the taxi office in the early hours to get a cab.
During the trial, taxi firm employee Leanne Henderson claimed she saw both defendants stamping on Mr Taylor as he lay on the floor.
She said Perks had punched Mr Taylor and then stamped on his head and Potter had stamped on his lower body and legs.
Potter told the jury she had never assaulted or had any contact with Mr Taylor while Perkes admitted throwing a punch – but only because he feared getting beaten up himself.
Mr Taylor was described in court as a “gentle giant”.
His parents, Keith and Jean Taylor, said they felt justice had been done after their son’s killer was found guilty.
Det Insp Nina Foley, from the force major investigation team, said: “This is a tragic case and although I am pleased with the sentence that has been handed down today, in these circumstances there are no winners and the events of that night underline to me the tragic consequences that can arise when people drink alcohol to excess.
“Both Potter and Perkes were intoxicated on New Year’s Eve when they became abusive in a taxi rank office and launched the unprovoked attack on Allan Taylor, who was described by all who knew him as being a gentle and unaggressive man.”