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£20 Made This Thug Drag Stranger From Fish and Chip Shop and Beat Him To Death

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Christopher Walton, 24, was loitering outside the Seven Acres Fish and Chip shop in Bolton, Greater Manchester , dressed in all black, when he launched his unprovoked attack.

Christopher Walton, 24, kicked and stamped on his victim as he regained consciousness (Picture: Cavendish Press)

A vicious thug who beat a man to death in the street after demanding £20 from him has been jailed for life.

Christopher Walton, 24, was loitering outside the Seven Acres Fish and Chip shop in Bolton, Greater Manchester , dressed in all black, when he launched his unprovoked attack.

As 45-year-old grandfather Christopher Hardman and a friend tried to enter, the assailant stopped him and said ‘you got my 20 bar?’

Walton, from Bolton, then rifled through the pockets of his victim before leaving him momentarily, Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court heard.

As Mr Hardman began to show signs of regaining consciousness, his attacker approached him and began kicking and stamping on his head repeatedly in a ‘ferocious’ beating before leaving him to die.

Walton, who admitted murder, was told by a judge that anyone who watched the CCTV footage ‘would struggle to understand how one human being could descend to the brutal violence that you inflicted on a defenceless man’.

Walton was told anyone ‘would struggle to understand how one human being could descend to the brutal violence’ he inflicted (Picture: Cavendish Press)

Prosecutor Tim Storrie described how Walton asked for money as Mr Hardman entered a local takeaway with his friend Anthony Miller on July 13 last year.

He added: ‘As they went to go into the chip shop, they saw the defendant who said, “you got my 20 bar?”

‘Mr Miller felt this was a robbery and didn’t carry on, but Mr Hardman did, and he was dragged out of the shop by the same man who had asked him for money.’

He then gave the defendant all of the money he had on him, but Walton wanted more.

Those living nearby said they heard a man who was loud but ‘not out of control’, repeatedly asking ‘where is my money?’

The attacker asked ‘you got my 20 bar?’ before dragging his target out of the fish and chip shop (Picture: Cavendish Press)

Mr Storrie added: ‘It’s apparent the demands continued to be made even after Mr Hardman was knocked to the ground.’

CCTV footage shown to the court shows Walton inflicting a ‘merciless series of stamps and blows’.

Mr Miller seen handing money over, before the thug began to ‘rag’ Mr Hardman about, knocking him to the ground, the court heard.

The assailant then ‘rifled’ through his pockets, before chasing Mr Miller.

As Mr Hardman regained consciousness and moved his head, Walton returned, to kick and stamp on his head as he lay motionless on the ground outside the chip shop.

Mr Storrie added: ‘It must have been clear during the course of that attack when he was conscious that he was seriously injured.

‘The last phase was designed to cause maximum damage to Christopher Hardman.

‘It’s the prosecution’s case that violence was used when others were nearby in order to provide a spectacle to the associates of Mr Hardman.

‘During the course of that incident, Mr Hardman must have suffered some significant degree of mental or physical injury over a prolonged period of time.’

Following reports of the assault, police arrived and found Mr Hardman was unconscious and bleeding heavily.

Walton has been jailed for life, with a minimum of 20 years (Picture: Cavendish Press)

He was taken to Salford Royal Hospital, but despite the best efforts of medical staff, died on July 21.

In a post mortem report, a pathologist found he suffered a number of blunt force injuries including a jaw fracture, a fractured eye socket, cheekbone and nose, as well as massive injuries to the brain.

Walton was arrested on July 14, the day affer the attack, and gave a ‘no comment’ interview.

He told officers ‘that could have been f***ing anyone’ when he was shown the CCTV footage.

Mr Hardman had battled addiction in his life. In a victim personal statement, his mother Lynn, said: ‘Chris had a warm and lovely heart.

When shown CCTV footage of the attack, Walton said ‘that could have been f***ing anyone’ (Picture: Cavendish Press)

‘He made friends with people easily and was a respectful and polite adult.

‘He didn’t always make the best choices, but he was a much loved son, brother, father, grandfather, nephew, cousin and friend.’

Walton was said to have previous convictions for interfering with a vehicle and attempted burglary from when he was a youth.

In mitigation, his defence lawyer Richard Littler QC said this would be his first significant sentence of imprisonment.

The barrister added: ‘This was very sadly the kind of incident that unhappily happens in our streets in the evenings.

‘It’s an example of drunken thuggery, it’s an example of the defendant looking for trouble and trying to start a situation.’

Sentencing him to life in prison, with a minimum of 20 years to serve, Judge Anthony Cross QC said: ‘Anyone who has had to watch the shocking CCTV footage of what you did to the deceased over the course of 10 minutes would struggle to understand how one human being could descend to the brutal violence that you inflicted on a defenceless man who was doing no more than going to buy some food from his local chip shop.

‘The Crown are right to describe this “a merciless series of stamps and blows”.

‘What makes your conduct even more grave is to be found in the fact that you would leave the prone body of your victim and then return to it and inflict more harm.

‘I am satisfied that you were somehow demonstrating to your so-called associates how vicious you could be.

‘After you had finished with him you left him for dead.’

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Ngere Ikenna is a passionate learner and freelancer writer, blogger and a lover of good reads.
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