PC’s widow will never forgive his attackers

PC Neil Doyle
PC Neil Doyle
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A POLICEMAN’S widow whose husband was killed on the night of his work Christmas party has said that she will never forgive the two men behind the attack.

Sarah Doyle, the wife of PC Neil Doyle, 36, said her husband had been “killed on the streets that he lived to protect” after football agent Andrew Taylor, 29 and Timmy Donovan, 30, set upon him before leaving him dying in a city- centre gutter.

Yesterday they were convicted of his manslaughter by joint enterprise more than seven months after the attack which also left his two off-duty colleagues injured.

Mrs Doyle had only recently wed her “loving, caring husband” who she said had been a proud policeman, when he was delivered a fatal “piledriver” punch during the early hours of December 19 last year in Liverpool city centre.

Taylor, a £40,000 a year football consultant for the Wasserman Media Group who was said to have had a promising career ahead of him in the sporting world, and Donovan were acquitted of his murder but convicted of manslaughter unanimously by a jury of six men and six women at Liverpool Crown Court after more than 17 hours of deliberations.

The Doyle family said in a statement: “He was a friend to everyone he met. He was proud to be a policeman and loved to work with the public.

“No amount of justice will ever compensate for the loss of Neil and this is something that we as a family will have to live with every day for the rest of our lives.”

Taylor and sports event manager Donovan were said to have gone “out of their way” to get into a fight with PC Doyle and colleagues Robert Marshall and Michael Steventon, all from the Eaton Road police station.

Pc Doyle was punched twice before staggering across the street after Taylor “baited” him for a fight. Both defendants denied striking him.

Taylor had been described as acting in a “disinhibited and 
anti-social way” prior to the attack while Donovan was said to have been “bouncing around like a boxer in the ring”.

The defendants claimed they had been acting in self-defence.

They were both found guilty of wounding with intent to Pc Doyle’s colleague, Pc Marshall, and Taylor guilty of grievous body harm with intent to Pc Michael Steventon.

The blow to Pc Doyle’s neck ruptured his vertebral artery and resulted in bleeding on the brain. A post-mortem examination revealed that he did not have any injuries to his hands.

Detective Superintendent Mike Shaw, of Merseyside Police, said they welcomed the verdicts but that Pc Doyle’s family would never get over the tragedy.