A MAN was murdered by a group carrying out a 'brutal' punishment beating, a court heard.

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 jury in the trial of the five people accused of his murder has been told.

Alex Smith also known as Colgan, aged 28, William Coughlan, aged 25 and Kathryn Colgan, aged 24, all of Ramsay Avenue, Farnworth, as well as Ellis Hampson, aged 19 of Oakfield Avenue, Little Hulton and a 16-year-old boy all deny the murder of Mr Bendall.

Prosecutor, Michelle Colborne QC, described the events leading up to his death on June 13 this year to the jury at Manchester Crown Court.

She said that Mr Bendall, who lived in Farnworth, died as a result of a 'punishment beating' linked to drug dealing.

Miss Colborne said that at the time of his death, Mr Bendall was a recovering drug addict who had started taking drugs again in recent weeks.

He had become involved in drug dealing 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 to people around the Farnworth area.

However, Miss Colborne said '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, the 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was in touch with Smith and they tracked Bendall to his friend Gaynor Rothwell's house in Masefield Drive, Farnworth, where he had been staying.

Miss Colborne said: "Alex Smith was furious with him. He was forced to go with them in Alex Smith's car."

The court also heard how the 16-year-old threatened Mr Bendall with a knife.

The boy left the house with the bike Mr Bendall had been given and this was his last involvement in the incident.

Coughlan was waiting with Colgan, who is Smith's sister, near the local post office where they got in a car and joined up with Smith and Hampson, who were in the 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.

Ian Bendall used Alex Smith's phone to speak to his partner, Karen Nuttall while he was in the car.

Miss Colborne said: "He told her that they wanted £300 and they were 'going to do him in'.

"She could tell that he was being struck and she could hear him being threatened."

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

Miss Colborne said: "Ian Bendall was subjected to a deliberate and brutal attack. He was kicked and stamped on 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.

Miss Colborne said that all five of the defendants played some role in seeking out and assaulting Mr Bendall and they intended to cause him serious harm or kill him whether they struck a blow or not.

In police interview Smith and Hampson said they were not involved in any way with the events.

The 16-year-old said he bought the bike from Mr Bendall on that day while Coughlan and Colgan also denied any involvement.

The trial continues.