Man found guilty of 'cowardly' pub murder

A man has been found guilty of murder after killing a father in a "cowardly attack" at their local pub.

Thursday, 7th March 2019, 2:14 pm
Updated Friday, 8th March 2019, 7:33 pm
Lee Christy was killed last September. Photo sent by Leah Christy

Lee Christy died following a vicious assault at the Bear's Paw pub in Hindley on September 15 2018. The 45-year-old survived the attack but died three days later in hospital.

Bentham, of Smithwood Avenue in Hindley, had denied a count of murder but had admitted to manslaughter, but a jury at Bolton Crown Court found him guilty of the more serious crime.

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Lee Christy was killed last September. Photo sent by Leah Christy

The court had heard how the 46-year-old had followed Mr Christy to the toilets before launching a 17 second attack on him as he “lay helpless on the ground.”

The 45-year-old was taken to hospital later that evening, but tragically he never recovered from his injuries and died three days later.

In the incident described as a “cowardly” attack by the prosecution, an unsuspecting Mr Christy was taken “entirely by surprise” by the assault and was “powerless to defend himself” after being knocked out.

He dropped to the floor after being hit from behind and while he lay helpless on the ground, Bentham delivered a flurry of kicks, head-butts and punches.

The Bears Paw pub in Market Street, Hindley

He head-butted Mr Christy once more and punched him before getting up and leaving his unconscious on the floor.

He was about to exit the toilets before returning to deliver a final kick to his “limp and lifeless body.”

Mr Christy regained consciousness shortly after, but succumbed to his injuries in hospital on September 18.

Bentham will be sentenced at Bolton Crown Court on March 12.