Murderer Eden Lomax jailed for life for killing Simon Mitchell outside Game with single punch
A TEENAGER has been jailed for life for murdering a “vulnerable” stranger with a single fatal punch in the face.
Eden Lomax, aged 17, showed no emotion as he was sentenced for the murder of Simon Mitchell in Bolton town centre on Friday, June 14.
It was the third time the teenager had carried out a violent unprovoked assault in just a week, having earlier punched two other drunken strangers in random attacks.
Lomax launched the attack on Mr Mitchell after the victim confided in the group of teenagers that he had contemplated suicide.
His comments struck a raw nerve with Lomax, whose stepfather killed himself in 2004.
Mr Justice Peter Openshaw said Lomax has a “cowardly enthusiasm to resort to violence against men vulnerable through drink who are unable to defend themselves”.
Manchester Crown Court heard that Mr Mitchell suffered “catastrophic” brain injuries after falling and hitting his head on a concrete slab.
He was pronounced dead at the scene in Victoria Square outside Game at about 9pm. He also suffered a broken jaw from the punch.
Lomax, of Northwood Crescent, Deane, had drunk cider laced with vodka, a quarter of a bottle of vodka and smoked two cannabis spliffs before the murder.
He had been hanging around Bolton town centre with friends when Mr Mitchell, aged 43, approached the group and told them how he had recently been made redundant and of his sadness that he was unable to have children.
Mr Mitchell had been drinking heavily in Bolton with a friend after his brother gave him £200 to spend to cheer him up. Witnesses described his mood as melancholy, but added he was nice.
After the murder, Lomax left the scene telling friends his victim “deserved it”, the court heard. He was arrested the following day.
Stuart Denney QC, defending, said Lomax has expressed genuine remorse about his actions and said he did not intent to kill Mr Mitchell.
He added Lomax has been studying maths and English while on remand and was willing to take part in anger management courses.
Lomax had previously been expelled from school, but was on a painting and decorating course at college before his arrest.
Mr Justice Openshaw said: “I am sure at that early stage after the punch he wasn’t expressing regret - he appeared well satisfied with what he had done.”
He said his remorse was not shown when he left the scene, lied to police and went through a trial.
Mr Justice Openshaw added: “Mr Mitchell was vulnerable through drink as the defendant must have realised.
"The defendant is only 17 but is well built, physically fit and strong. He was well aware of delivering a powerful punch to his head.
“He has a cowardly enthusiasm to resort to violence against men who are unable through drink to defend themselves. The violence was spontaneous caused by his reaction to what Mr Mitchell said.”
Lomax was given a life sentence and must serve a minimum of 10 years in prison.
Mr Mitchell’s mother and brother attended the sentencing.
Lomax’s family shouted “I love you Eden” as he was led to the cells.