A MAN accused of murdering a 46-year-old man outside a fish and chip shop in Breightmet has appeared in court for the first time.

During a short hearing at Bolton Crown Court, Christopher Walton, 23, of Tonge Moor Road, Bolton, appeared via videolink from HMP Forrest Bank and spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth.

Dressed in a grey T-shirt, bearded Walton wore a large cross necklace which he repeatedly kissed during the trial preparation hearing which was moved from Manchester Crown Court after six staff there tested positive for Covid-19.

Walton is accused of murder and threatening with a bladed article following an incident outside a fish and chip shop on Winchester Way on July 13.

Police were called to the scene at around 10.20pm.

Emergency services attended and the victim was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Sadly, Christopher Hardman, 46, died from his injuries eight days later on July 21.

Walton also faces a robbery charge connected to an unrelated car jacking incident from earlier this year.

He did not enter pleas at this stage.

Andrew Mackintosh, prosecuting, said a post-mortem into Mr Hardman's death had not yet been carried out due to the pathologist being away.

He added that the alleged murder arose from an argument following demands over money from the defendant to the victim.

Honorary Recorder of Bolton, Judge Martin Walsh, remanded Walton in custody to return to Bolton Crown Court for a pre-trial hearing on October 28 with a provisional trial date set for January 4, 2021 at Manchester Crown Court.