Murder victim tribute

THE grieving brother of a murder victim has paid tribute to “a quiet and loving man” who “had a smile and joke for everyone.”

A Wigan man has appeared in court charged with the murder of 40-year-old Darren Bolger.

Police launched a murder investigation after Mr Bolger was found collapsed, suffering from serious head injuries, in an alleyway on January 27.

Detectives subsequently charged homeless Wigan man Stephen Barry Thomas with murder. Thomas, 25, now of no fixed abode, has made his first appearance at court.

In a statement, Mr Bolger’s big brother, Paul, paid an emotional tribute.

He said: “Darren was a quiet and loving man and I will always remember him as my little brother. He was very close to our mum and was devastated when we lost her.

“He had gone through hard times but he always had a smile and joke for everyone. He was very popular and will be greatly missed by all his family and friends.”

Mr Bolger was found collapsed in an alleyway off Parr Street in St Helens town centre. Mr Bolger, of St Helens, was rushed to Whiston Hospital for treatment but died at about 11pm on the same day.

A Home Office post mortem subsequently revealed that Mr Bolger died as a result of head injuries. The scene was sealed off by forensic teams for more than 24 hours for detailed examinations and two men, aged 34 and 37, were initially held by police in connection with the investigation. Both have since been bailed pending further inquiries.

Anyone with information can call detectives on 0151 777 1577, or Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555 111.