A MAN has been found guilty of murdering a man in Farnworth and two others have been found guilty of manslaughter in connection with the killing.

Alex Smith, aged 28, also known as Colgan, was found guilty of murder at Manchester Crown Court today.

William Coughlan aged 25 and Ellis Hampson aged 19 were both found guilty of manslaughter.

Kathryn Colgan aged 24 and a 16-year-old who cannot be named for legal reasons were acquitted by the jury.

The jury came to unanimous verdicts on all the charges.

Smith and Coughlan, both of Ramsay Avenue in Farnworth and Hampson of Oakfield Avenue Little Hulton will be sentenced next week.

The trial heard how Ian Bendall was kicked and stamped on behind a mill in Farnworth to such an extent that he died in hospital four days later.

The attack was described by the prosecution as a 'punishment beating' linked to drug dealing.

Mr Bendall was a recovering drug addict who had started taking drugs in the weeks leading up to his death.

He had become involved in running drugs for Smith in the week or so prior to his death and had been given a supply of drugs and a bike to allow him to deal around the Farnworth area.

It is believed he let 'Alex Smith and his group down' by delving into the drug stash for himself or taking money he had made selling drugs.

Over the evening of June 8 and into the morning of June 9, Smith and his group began looking for Mr Bendall.

On the evening of June 8, Hampson started the search, and the following morning Mr Bendall was tracked to his friend Gaynor Rothwell's house in Masefield Drive, Farnworth, where he had been staying.

Mr Bendall got in a car with Smith here.

Coughlan was waiting near the local post office where he got in a car and joined up with Smith and Hampson, who were in a car with Mr Bendall.

They then travelled in convoy to an area behind Century Mill off George Street in Farnworth.

The two cars were driven closely to each other as they went to the mill and Hampson and Coughlan spoke to each other on the phone.

The jury heard how Smith parked his car behind a caravan and Coughlan parked his car nearby before the attack was carried out.

Here a 'deliberate and brutal attack' took place where Bendall was kicked and stamped while on the ground.

The group was interrupted during the assault and Mr Bendall was then dumped back near to his home.

The 43-year-old was admitted to hospital on June 12, complaining of severe chest pain and he died the following day.

The jury first began its deliberations last week and came back this morning.