EDEN Lomax was a “young thug, driven by aggression and pent-up violence” — and it was that aggression that led to the murder of Simon Mitchell.

During the trial at Manchester Crown Court, the jury were told of an “escalating pattern of violence” that Lomax demonstrated in the week leading up to Mr Mitchell’s death.

This included two brutal attacks on vulnerable men in Bolton town centre.

The jury was shown CCTV footage of the attacks, which highlighted the force with which Lomax punched or “bombed” his victims.

He punched his first victim on June 7 — exactly a week before Mr Mitchell’s death.

Lomax targeted a 31-year-old man with learning difficulties in the face as he stood at a bus stop in Blackfriars Street.

The victim was knocked to the ground by the force of the blow and remained unconscious for some minutes and was lucky to escape without serious injury.

The 17-year-old struck again four days later, when he punched a drunken 41-year-old man without warning, after they had struck up conversation in Blackfriars Street.

He punched him once in the face and the force knocked the victim backwards through the open doors of a waiting bus, leaving him dazed on the floor. Lomax then joked to the driver of the bus that the victim wanted an “adult day saver”, before running off.

His third attack of the week was to result in the death of the 43-year-old Mr Mitchell, who had come to talk to the teenager and his friends after a night out.

Lomax, again in an aggressive mood, had already threatened to punch two other drunken men who had walked past him and had been restrained by his friends.

An eyewitness described Mr Mitchell falling to the ground “like the minute hand of a clock moving from 12 o’clock to three”.

As the victim lay motionless, the teenager walked to a friend’s house to play video games.

Speaking after yesterday’s guilty verdict, Prosecutor Robert Hall, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said that while it was a “successful outcome in terms of justice, it does not bring back Mr Mitchell or remove the grief and distress felt by his family and friends”.