St Annes street attack man 'choked to death'

Scene of the attack
Image caption Barry Kirkham choked on his own vomit after he was attacked

A man who was attacked in the street in Lancashire, died by choking on his vomit, a post-mortem examination found.

Barry Kirkham, 47, was assaulted after an altercation late on Monday evening in St Annes, as he walked home with friends and family from a wake.

The post-mortem examination on Mr Kirkham showed he died as a result of choking after he was knocked unconscious with a punch.

Two men, aged 32 and 45, were arrested and later bailed by police.

Det Supt Andy Murphy discounted local suggestions the lifelong Blackpool FC fan had been caught up in a row with Preston North End fans.

'Tragic incident'

"There has been speculation in the community that a man was close to the scene chanting 'PNE' with reference to Preston North End football club," he said.

"I want to make it abundantly clear that this person is not one of the people arrested and is in fact a local man who supports Blackpool.

"This incident is not as a result of rival fans clashing."

He added: "This is a tragic incident and an investigation is under way to establish the circumstances of exactly what happened."

Mr Kirkham was treated by paramedics at the scene in Park Road, near Zeko's takeaway, but died at Blackpool Victoria Hospital a short time later.

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