Chief Constable Sir Jon Murphy, said:

“This is a very sad day for Merseyside Police and I now have to brief you about the loss of one of my officers, Constable Neil Doyle.

“This briefing will be all that I have to say, the investigation is in its early stages and detectives are still trying to ascertain the full circumstances of events. Consequently neither the Commissioner, who will speak for a moment, or myself will be answering questions.

“In the early hours of this morning Constable Neil Doyle, a married 36-year-old officer with 10 years police experience, lost his life.

“On behalf of everybody connected with Merseyside Police I extend our heartfelt and sincere condolences to his wife Sarah and the rest of his family.

“Constable Doyle was enjoying a Christmas night out with his work colleagues. Around 3.15am this morning, Neil left The Peacock bar along with two colleagues. As they walked along Colquitt Street in Liverpool city centre they were subjected to an apparently unprovoked and vicious attack by a group of males.

“Following intensive emergency treatment at the scene, Constable Doyle was taken to The Royal Liverpool Hospital where he sadly died a short while later.

“His two colleagues suffered serious facial injuries. They have been treated for their injuries and have now been discharged from hospital.

“I would like to appeal directly to anybody who may have witnessed the incident or indeed anyone who may know anything at all that may be connected the attack.

“In particular we would like to speak to anybody who was in the Colquitt Street area in the early hours who may have seen something of value to the investigation.

“Anybody who does have information should call the investigation team on Freephone 0800 230 0600 or alternatively, the Crimestoppers anonymous number on 0800 555 111.

“Finally, I would like to place on record my gratitude to the paramedics along with the members of the public who tried in vain to save Neil’s life and who provided aid to the two injured officers. “

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