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Man jailed for manslaughter in Bolton

|News, Violent crime

A 31-year-old man has been sentenced today at Manchester Crown Court for the manslaughter of a 36-year-old man at a bar in Bolton in September last year.

Robert Greenhalgh (known as Owen) pleaded guilty to the unlawful killing of Robert Smethurst (known as Rob) at an earlier hearing.

On Wednesday 1 September 2021 Rob Smethurst went out for the evening with his friend to celebrate their birthdays. They enjoyed drinks and played snooker and later decided to go into the town centre.

The pair arrived at Luxe Lounge bar in Bolton around 11pm. They both got drinks and danced. Later that evening they became aware of two males dancing nearby. There were a few interactions with the pair, but no trouble arose between them.

In the early hours of 2 September, Rob and his friend were stood near a booth in the Luxe Lounge when without any apparent reason, Greenhalgh clapped his hands then punched them both in the face. Rob's friend went to the floor and suffered concussion and bruising to his lip. Rob hit the floor and passed out.

Following the punches, Greenhalgh puffed out his chest and shouted: "Who wants it? Who else wants some? Who's next?" before leaving the area with his friend.

The door staff attempted to help Rob, who was not breathing, and an ambulance was called. The paramedics tried to resuscitate him without success, and he was taken to Salford Royal Infirmary where despite further efforts to revive him, he was pronounced dead at 2.48am, a little over an hour after he had been punched.

The Pathology report revealed that Rob had died from a catastrophic brain injury, directly related to the punch he had sustained from Greenhalgh.

Greenhalgh was arrested later the same day. Initially he blamed his victims saying they had intimidated him, but after being shown the CCTV, he admitted there had been no provocation before he punched both men and on 28 February 2022 he pleaded guilty to manslaughter and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The loss of Rob is felt keenly by his family, particularly his wife, Amanda, who said in an emotional Victim Impact Statement: "I was robbed of my husband, my best friend, my happiness and my future, all in one."

Robert (Owen) Greenhalgh was sentenced today (22 April 2022) to a custodial period of 11 years and four months with an extended license period of three years and nine months – total 15 years.

Caroline Wilbraham for the CPS said: "This is a tragic case. Rob Smethurst was a 36 year old man with everything to live for, he had a wife and two daughters and a happy life.

"Nothing can change what happened to Rob that day, but I hope his family can take some comfort in knowing that Greenhalgh has been brought to justice for his reckless actions that day.

"I hope this case will serve as a reminder that violence can have devastating consequences and that one blow is enough to take someone's life."

Notes to editors

  • Caroline Wilbraham is Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West

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