THIS is the murder victim who died after being found severely beaten and unconscious in an alleyway.

Darren Bolger, 40, suffered fatal head injuries after allegedly being attacked in the passageway off Parr Street, on the fringe of St Helens town centre.

At the weekend police swooped on an address in Wigan, arresting Stephen Barry Thomas, 25, on Saturday. They charged him with murder.

Mr Bolger, who had a troubled past and criminal convictions in recent years for alcohol-fuelled offences including breaching an ASBO and burglary, never regained consciousness.

He died in Whiston Hospital at about 11pm last Thursday (January 27), eight hours after paramedics had been called to his stricken body.

In a family statement released yesterday, the victim’s brother Paul 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."

Detectives sealed off the alleyway, which is near to a car dealership and a butchers, for forensic examination.

They initially arrested two men, aged 34 and 37, on suspicion of attempted murder while Mr Bolger was still alive, last Thursday afternoon.

However, they were subsequently released without charge as detectives’ investigation gathered pace.

In 2009 the Star reported how Mr Bolger, formerly of Sherdley Road, had been placed under an anti-social behaviour order for hurling drunken abuse at town centre workers and visitors.

The terms banned him from any shop within St Helens town centre. He served a jail term last year for breaching the ASBO and burglary.