Page last updated at 15:06 GMT, Sunday, 13 July 2008 16:06 UK

Man stabbed to death on night out

Paul Gilligan (Pic courtesy of GMP)
Paul Gilligan died in hospital

A man has been stabbed to death at a pub in Greater Manchester.

Paul Gilligan, 31, of Little Hulton in Salford, was knifed twice outside the Pepper Alley pub in Crown Street, Bolton, at about 0050 BST.

He was taken by ambulance to the Royal Bolton Hospital but later died. A 19-year-old man has been arrested.

It is the third stabbing in Bolton since Friday, but police said they were all isolated incidents and insisted knife crime in the town was "rare".

The 19-year-old is being held on suspicion of murder and is still being questioned by detectives in Bolton.

I would like to reassure our local communities that knife crime in Bolton remains a rare event
Supt Dave Flitcroft

The pub in the centre of the town remained cordoned off with police tape on Sunday morning.

Officers have also cordoned off an alley about 100m (328ft) away from the pub, which is surrounded by a number of other bars and takeaway outlets.

Next door is a Unitarian Chapel, which also runs a night cafe that helps youngsters in distress while on a night out in the town centre.

Prayers were said for Mr Gilligan during a service on Sunday.

Christine Leather, president of the chapel, said: "I was very sad, really sad. It is right on our doorstep... we can't believe it really.

Scene of Bolton stabbing
It is the third stabbing in Bolton since Friday

"We shared thoughts for the person who has died and also the person who may have done this."

Supt Dave Flitcroft, from Bolton Division of Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said: "Today we have seen the devastating affects knives can have with the death of a man earlier this morning.

"I would like to reassure our local communities that knife crime in Bolton remains a rare event, while it always has the potential for tragic consequences such as we have seen earlier today.

"Given the current climate and media focus on knife crime I understand some people may have concerns and I would like to emphasise the police and our partners will continue to work relentlessly to prevent and tackle knife crime and bring offenders to justice."

Further stabbings

GMP said its figures show in the last 12 months there has been 114 instances where a knife has been used or someone threatened with a knife in the area, representing 0.3% of overall crime in Bolton.

Nevertheless, the incident on Sunday was the latest in a series of stabbings in Greater Manchester in a 48-hour period.

In a separate incident, a 19-year-old man was stabbed in the neck while sitting in his car on Old Chorley Road in Bolton, on Friday at about 1940 BST.

Police are searching for three men in connection to the attack.

In the early hours of Friday morning, a 24-year-old was stabbed in his side during a scuffle on the same street.

And in the early hours of Saturday morning a 23-year-old was stabbed in the stomach outside Park Nite Club in central Manchester.

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