One-punch thug who killed man, 53, in car parking row jailed for less than two years

Jailed: Harry Fowle -Credit:Lancashire Police
Jailed: Harry Fowle -Credit:Lancashire Police

A thug who killed a man in a horror one-punch attack in Blackpool has been jailed - for less than two years. Anthony Harley, 53, approached a car parked in a taxi only area and told the occupants they couldn't park there - but was then approached by Harry Fowle, 34, a complete stranger to him.

Fowle, said police, confronted him and punched him once, causing Mr Hartley to fall backwards and hit his head on the ground. Tragically, he died in hospital a month later.

As Fowle was locked up by a judge for manslaughter, Mr Harley's family revealed his death came just months after his mother passed away suddenly from cancer.

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Fowle, of Brook Street, Blackpool, attacked Mr Harley on Church Street, Blackpool, on February 19, 2023. In a statement, Lancashire Police said: "The 53-year-old had approached a parked car, and informed the occupants they were unable to park in a taxi area.

"Shortly after 8.30pm, he was approached by Harry Fowle who confronted him and punched him once. Anthony fell and banged the back of his head. He would never recover from the injury and died in hospital on March 17."

In a victim personal statement Mr Harley's father, Paul, said: "The year 2023 has been a difficult one for me and all of my family. My wife Anne, who I was married to for 57 years, was diagnosed with cancer in December 2022 and she shockingly died soon after on January 17, 2023.

Anthony Harley -Credit:Lancashire Police
Anthony Harley -Credit:Lancashire Police

"We were all grieving and absolutely heartbroken as a family. Then my son’s life was taken away in the most soul-destroying way leaving me without my son and his sisters without their younger brother.

"I remember a phone call telling me Anthony had been involved in an incident and was in intensive care. I fell to pieces and was devastated at hearing this. It felt like a bomb was being dropped on our lives. We were asked as a family to attend the hospital some three-and-a-half weeks after the assault on Anthony. We were told the doctors had done everything they could, and Anthony’s brain had died.

"Having to turn the machines off and take out the tubes that were keeping Anthony alive was absolutely heartbreaking. This is more or less saying goodbye at that point, and it absolutely ripped our hearts out. It didn’t feel real, and it is something which we will never get over. As a parent I never considered the thought of my son dying before me."

Fowle was originally arrested on suspicion of Section 18 wounding and was charged with manslaughter following Mr Harley's death. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter in February and was sentenced at Preston Crown Court today - Tuesday.

He was jailed for one year and 10 months in prison.

Det Insp Simon Pritchard, of the Force Major Investigation Team, said: "This case once again shows the devastating consequences which can result from a single punch and my thoughts today are with Mr Harley’s family who have lost a much-loved son and brother."