Death of Preesall man leads to murder investigation

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A murder investigation has been launched following the death of a Preesall man.

At around 6am on Sunday August 18, Stephen Butt, 50, of Park Lane, collapsed outside his house after returning home from a night out in Blackpool with his partner and her family.

He was taken to Blackpool Victoria hospital but was pronounced dead a short time later.

Initially it was believed that Mr Butt had collapsed through illness however detectives now believe he may have been assaulted before he collapsed.

Detective Superintendent Andy Murphy, from Lancashire Police said: “The circumstances leading to Mr Butt’s death are still very unclear but we are of the mind at this stage that his death is suspicious and we are determined to establish exactly what happened.

“We believe that Mr Butt had been out with his group in Blackpool town centre pubs and bars in the early hours of Sunday morning, in particular,‘Hush’ and ‘Yates’.

“We know he made his way into the town centre at around 12:40am, spending several hours there, returning to Preesall between 5am and 6am.

“Not only am I looking to speak to anyone who was out in the town centre around those times that might have information, I am also keen to trace a private hire taxi driver who took the group back to the address in Preesall from Blackpool.

“The driver of the taxi would have picked up Stephen, a woman and another man from outside Hush nightclub between 3.30am and 5am – I would appeal directly to the driver to come forward and contact us as they could have information crucial to the investigation.

“We are making a number of enquiries in both the Lancashire and Greater Manchester areas to try and trace people we believe may have information that could help so I would appeal to people in both counties to contact us if they have any information at all.”

A 30-year-old man from Manchester has been arrested on suspicion of murder and two women aged 50 and 25 from Manchester have been arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.

All are currently in custody being questioned.

Anyone with information should contact Police on 101 quoting log number LC-20130822-1126.