A LANDLORD was stabbed 11 times in 21 seconds by a drinker who was barred from every pub in Widnes, a murder trial has heard.

Christian Thornton died at the age of 49 after being attacked outside the Hammer and Pincers in summer last year.

Today, Monday, Lee Abbott went on trial at Liverpool Crown Court accused of his murder.

The court heard that the 35-year-old defendant was barred from Mr Thornton’s pub on August 2 due to ‘boisterous behaviour’ from a group of people he was drinking with.

He returned to the premises the next day in a bid to change the landlord’s mind, but when he refused Abbot threatened to burn the premises down.

During the next meeting of Widnes Pubwatch, this ban was extended to every pub in the town.

On the afternoon of Sunday, August 11, Abbott – of Rose Street – went to the Hammer and Pincers armed with a large knife.

He walked into the Liverpool Road pub at around 3.15pm, as Mr Thornton was playing darts.

The pair left the building, with the pub landlord calling the police after a ‘heated exchange’.

While Abbott initially walked away from the scene, he then ran towards his victim and stabbed him 11 times in just 21 seconds.

When armed police arrested him at a friend’s house around an hour later, he said: “I attacked that Chris yeah – you don’t need any evidence, I stabbed him to f***.”

Later, under interview, Abbott added: “I just saw red.”

A post-mortem examination showed that Mr Thornton had suffered numerous injuries, including a stab wound to his heart.

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

Prosecution barrister David McLachlan told the jury of nine women and three men that Abbott had ‘considered his ban an injustice, as in his mind he had done nothing wrong’.

Mr McLachlan added: “What had Christian Thornton done?

“He had barred him from his pub and he had put forward a proposal, which was accepted, that he be barred from other pubs in the area.

“And what did Lee Abbott do?

“Well, he stabbed and he stabbed and he stabbed Christian Thornton to death in broad daylight on an early Sunday afternoon.”

Abbott, who admits manslaughter, denies murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility due to an ‘abnormality of mental function’ and claims that could not have intended to kill Mr Thornton as he was ‘heavily intoxicated’.

The trial continues, and is expected to last around two weeks.