A WIGAN man has appeared in court charged with murder.
Detectives charged Stephen Barry Thomas, 25, of no fixed abode, with the murder of Darren Bolger at the weekend.
Mr Bolger, 40, was found collapsed, suffering from serious head injuries, in an alleyway last Thursday afternoon.
Thomas, who is originally from Wigan, made his first appearance before St Helens Magistrates’ Court yesterday morning.
In a tense five-minute hearing, the defendant, wearing a black jacket and white top, spoke only to confirm his name and lack of a fixed address.
But a commotion, which sparked at the back of the courtroom, ended with security guards escorting several members of the public gallery out of court before the hearing had finished.
Police launched a murder investigation last week after Mr Bolger was found collapsed, suffering from serious head injuries, in a fenced alleyway off Parr Street in St Helens town centre.
Emergency crews were called to the scene – to the rear of a Kwik Fit garage and near to the Salvation Army’s Salisbury House hostel – at about 3.15pm.
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 police teams for more than 24 hours for detailed forensic examinations and two men, aged 34 and 37, were initially held by police in connection with the incident.
Both men have since been bailed pending further inquiries.
Thomas was remanded in custody by St Helens magistrates to appear before Liverpool Crown Court for a preliminary hearing tomorrow morning (Wednesday, February 2).
Anyone with information about the alleged incident can call detectives on 0151 777 1577, or Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555 111.