Widnes stabbing: Murder charge over pub landlord's death

Christian Thornton Image copyright Family photograph
Image caption Christian Thornton died at the scene of the stabbing

A man has been charged with the murder of a landlord who was stabbed outside his pub.

Christian Thornton, 49, died outside the Hammer and Pincers in Widnes on Sunday, police said.

Lee Abbott, 35, of no fixed address, has been charged with murder and possession of an offensive weapon.

Mr Abbott was remanded into custody by Warrington magistrates. He will next appear at Liverpool Crown Court on 15 August.

A 39-year-old woman who was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender has been bailed pending further inquiries.

Cheshire Police said it had referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct as Mr Thornton contacted the force on 3 August, eight days before his death.

A friend told the BBC married father-of-three Mr Thornton had worked at the pub for 20 years, first as a barman and then as its landlord.

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