A man has been charged with murder and possession of an offensive weapon following the fatal stabbing of landlord Christian Thornton outside his pub in Widnes.

Lee Abbott, aged 35, of no fixed abode, Widnes, has been remanded into custody and is due to appear before Warrington Magistrates’ Court later today.

READ>Family release photo of fatal stabbing victim

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

At 3.20pm, on Sunday, August 11, police received reports of a serious assault near the Hammer and Pincers pub in Liverpool Road.

Officers swiftly attended the scene to find the victim - Mr Thornton, aged 49 - had sustained serious injuries.

Sadly, despite the best efforts of all involved, he died at the scene.

On Sunday Chief Inspector Simon Parsonage, who is in charge of policing in Widnes, said: “I would like to reassure those living locally that we are doing everything we can to establish the circumstances of what has happened and extra officers will continue to patrol the area to provide reassurance.

"If you have any concerns at all please speak to an officer.”

Local politician Derek Twigg said he was "deeply saddened" by Mr Thornton's death and added that he had asked police to keep him informed on the progress of their investigation.

The Labour MP for Halton wrote on Facebook: "I am deeply saddened by the tragic death yesterday of Christian Thornton, long-serving and popular landlord of the Hammer & Pincers pub in Widnes.

"I am horrified that he was stabbed to death carrying out his job, nobody should be carrying knives in our community.

"I send my condolences to his family, friends and staff at this very sad and difficult time."

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information, which could assist the investigation, is urged to call Cheshire police on 101 quoting IML 483194.

Information can also be passed on anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.