Two Wigan teenagers found guilty of killing man whose body was found in canal
Two youths have been convicted of killing a "vulnerable" man who was attacked and pushed into a canal.
The body of Scott Anderton, 33, from Leigh, was found floating in the Leeds and Liverpool canal in his home town on the morning of March 25.
Liam Bailey, 18, of Leigh, had pleaded guilty to the murder of Mr Anderton, but a 16-year-old boy from Standish and a 17-year-old boy from Scholes, who both cannot be named for legal reasons, denied the offence and went on trial.
On Monday a jury at Manchester Crown Court found the 16-year-old guilty of murder, while the 17-year-old was cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter.
All three defendants were cleared of robbing Mr Anderton.
A post-mortem examination showed Mr Anderton suffered 35 separate sharp force injuries, including chop and stab wounds that covered his body from the top of his head down to his shins.
The nature of some of the wounds indicated Mr Anderton tried to protect himself by raising his hands, arms and legs, and - in the opinion of a pathologist - were "equally consistent with blows being delivered to prevent him getting out of the canal".
The cause of death given was multiple sharp force injuries with blunt force trauma to the head and terminal drowning.
Michael Brady QC, prosecuting, said Mr Anderton had the "tragic misfortune" to run into the defendants shortly after he was seen on CCTV walking through Leigh town centre at about 4am with a plastic carrier bag, wearing a bobble hat and only one shoe.
CCTV footage went on to show the murder victim and the defendants at the entrance to the canal on King Street, said the Crown, and that at 4.30am ripples on the surface of the water indicated when Mr Anderton entered the canal after the ferocious attack.
Bailey, of Diamond Street, was also found guilty of attempting to rob a young man in the hours before Mr Anderton's murder.
He had also pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to inflicting grievous bodily harm on a 40-year-man who suffered life-changing injuries from a late night attack near Leigh town centre on September 1 last year.
Mr Brady said the victim, similarly to Mr Anderton, was targeted because he was "vulnerable and alone".
The 17-year-old defendant was found guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm in relation to the September 1 incident.
Sentencing will take place on November 12.
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