Life sentences for luring man to canal and killing him

Published: Monday, 15 November 2021

LIFE sentences have been given to two of the teenagers who lured a man to the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and killed him.

It was in March that three teenagers lured the 'vulnerable' Scott Anderton to the towpath of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal at Leigh subjecting him to a vicious attack, Keith Gudgin reports.

Sustained violence

The 33 years old man was pushed into the canal but as he attempted to climb out the three teenagers subjected him to an act of sustained violence, rained blows and repeatedly stabbed their victim until he slid back into the water unconscious. Lured man onto towpath.

His body was found floating on the water of the canal the following morning the 25th March, and discovered to have 35 separate injuries including blows, chip and stab wounds over his entire body.

Liam Bailey, 18, had pleaded guilty to the murder of Mr Anderton, while Harry Maher, 16, was found guilty by a jury of the same charge and Liam O’Brien, 17, was convicted of manslaughter.

Life sentences

On Friday, Liam Bailey received a life term and must serve a minimum of 23 years and four months in custody.

Harry Maher was also given a life term with a minimum 16 years before he can be considered for parole.

Liam O’Brien was sentenced to 10 years youth custody.

CCTV footage showed the murder victim and the teenagers approaching the Leeds & Liverpool Canal together with ripples on the surface of the water that indicated when Scott Anderton slid into the canal after the attack.

He had attempted to climb out, but lost consciousness and slipped into the canal as a result of his his injuries.

Then the three returned to the scene with their phones to film the police cordon and activity.

Returned to film the scene

Following searches of their phones it was found that Bailey and O’Brien had returned to the scene later that morning and filmed the police activity.

After the sentencing, Detective Chief Inspector Liz Hopkinson told:

“This was an extremely violent, callous and unprovoked attack that cost a man his life. They showed absolutely no remorse for their heinous actions, ignoring his cries for help, before watching him die in the canal.

“In a final act of evil they then returned to the scene of the crime to take videos.

It was the extensive CCTV inquiries that pinpointed their movements and established that all three of them had been with the victim and were involved in his death.