Man stabbed landlord 11 times after being barred from his pub

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A man who stabbed a landlord 11 times while he was on the phone to the police has been found guilty of murder.

Lee Abbott, 35, was convicted of murdering father-of-three Christian Thornton, 49, at Liverpool Crown Court on Thursday, a spokeswoman for Cheshire Police said.

Abbott, who ‘believed he was Jesus’, had been barred from all pubs in Widnes, Cheshire, when he charged into the Hammer and Pincers pub armed with a large kitchen knife on August 11 last year.

The kickboxer had been barred from the pubs as part of the PubWatch scheme after threatening to burn Mr Thornton’s premises down.

The jury was told Mr Thornton was on the phone to police to report Abbott when he stabbed him 11 times in the space of 21 seconds.

Witness David Johnson told police: ‘There was no stopping him, he just ran like a mad man.’

Abbott, of Widnes, was arrested about an hour later by armed police at his friends’ house nearby.

He told officers: ‘You don’t need any evidence, I stabbed him to f***.’

Abbott admitted manslaughter but denied murder on the grounds he did not have the intent to murder as he was heavily intoxicated and had diminished responsibility on the basis of an abnormality of mental functioning.

The jury was told he was sexually abused by a gangster when he was a teenager.

His estranged wife Kerri Abbott told the court that Abbott had episodes where he would ‘lose touch with reality’.

He is due to be sentenced on Friday.