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Self Proclaimed 'Hardest Man In The North West' Kills Innocent Dad Out Celebrating His Birthday

A violent thug killed an innocent father who was out with friends celebrating his birthday after he accidentally stood on his foot in a nightclub.


Father-of-two killed by a single punch during birthday night out in Bolton, England
Father-of-two killed by a single punch during birthday night out in Bolton, England

A violent steroid-induced and cocaine-fuelled thug killed a loving father after he accidentally stood on his foot in a nightclub.



Robert Owen Greenhalgh punched 36-year-old father-of-two, Robert Smethurst, as he was out celebrating his birthday with his cousin Aaron Bates in Bolton town centre.


Greenhalgh, a heavy steroid and cocaine-using bodybuilder who referred to himself as the "hardest c*** in the North West", appeared in court for sentencing for the vicious and unprovoked attack.


Mr Smethurst had accidentally stood on Greenhalgh's foot earlier in the evening, he had quickly apologised and there were no further issues while they both drank in Luxe Lounge on Bradshawgate.


At about 1.30 am, Greenhalgh, 31, punched Aaron Bates without any warning and then attacked Robert Smethurst, striking him with a punch with the force of a 'heavyweight boxer', Manchester Crown Court heard.


Aaron bates managed to break his fall after the punch, however, Robert Smethurst had received immediate brain trauma after the blow before he had even fallen to the ground.


Following the brutal attack, Greenhalgh strutted around, puffed out his chest, and shouted "Who else wants some?"


The judge declared Greenhalgh as "dangerous" and jailed him for 11 years after he admitted manslaughter following the attack on September 2 last year.


Sentencing judge Anthony Cross QC said, "Not for one moment did you consider that which you had done, other than to glory in your achievement and invite others to attack you."


Amanda Smethurst, the victim's wife, and a primary school teacher, bravely told the packed courtroom how her life had been turned upside down by the loss of her soulmate. She said, "I was robbed of my husband, my best friend, my happiness, and my future all in one."


After labelling Greenhalgh as a 'coward', she added: "How could someone be so violent and hateful towards my husband who did absolutely nothing to deserve this attack? The love for my husband is overwhelming proof of what an incredible man he is. I miss him more than words could ever describe."


Although Greenhalgh had no previous convictions, police looking through his phone discovered a 'predilection' for violence. Greenhalgh who had previously worked as a debt collector had been bragging about how he had 'knocked out' three people on one occasion.


Prosecutor Rob Hall said, "he described himself as being the hardest c*** in the North West, and glorified punching someone while wearing a knuckleduster."


In the messages read by police on his phone, Greenhalgh had talked about his regular use of steroids and had bragged about using £50,000 of cocaine in six months.



Greenhalgh's mother had tried to get her drug-abusing son to change his ways, in one message to him she said: "Owen you should be ashamed of yourself. You are kidding yourself if you think this is going to end well. The only way this is going to end is death for you."


"You are so far gone now that you don't even know what is right and wrong anymore, and for your information only idiots do what you are doing, not nice people. You lie, you cheat, you control with brute force but you will die if you don't stop. I'm done with you I'm afraid. It's ok but you need help."


A police officer outside of Luxe Lounge, Bolton, England
A police officer outside of Luxe Lounge, Bolton, England

Judge Cross said, "She was wrong about one thing only, it would not be your death but the death of a wholly innocent man."


Mr Smethurst and Mr Bates arrived at Luxe Lounge at around 11.15 pm, at about 11:40 pm Mr Smethurst accidentally stood on Greenhalgh's foot, he apologised straight away and the pair parted ways on good terms.


Approximately 10 minutes before the fatal attack took place, there was some 'innocent' conversation between the two groups but no trouble was apparent. Greenhalgh, who had been sitting in a booth at the club, suddenly stood up, clapped his hands, and punched both Robert Smethurst and Aaron Bates.


Aaron Bates managed to break his fall but still suffered concussion, he had no memory of the assault. Robert Smethurst suffered immediate heavy brain trauma and was declared dead about an hour later.



A friend of Greenhalgh's who was present during the attack said that he was 'totally shocked' by what happened, as it was 'so out of the blue'. Greenhalgh proceeded to puff out his chest and offer more violence to anyone who 'wanted it'.


Judge Cross told Greenhalgh, "It is unsurprising not one single person including the door staff intervened, such was the terror you caused inside that club."


After the attack, Greenhalgh then drove away in his work van, despite being completely unfit to drive through drink and drugs.


Police tracked Greenhalgh down to a hotel in Leigh, they also discovered a syringe containing traces of testosterone and trenbolone in his work van.


Judge Cross sentenced Greenhalgh to 11 years and three months in prison. He will serve two-thirds of the term in jail.


When he is released he will have to observe an added three years and nine months on licence.


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