A violent teenager who killed a Bolton man after punching him with force in the face then went to a friend’s house to play video game was convicted of murder.
Eden Lomax, 17, of Northwood Crescent, Dean, punched Simon Mitchell, 43, on Friday June 14 as the latter outstretched his arm to shake his hand. This was Lomax’s third attack in the space of one week.
Simon had recently been made redundant on the day of his death and had arranged to meet his friends in Bolton after he had been given £200 from his brother to cheer him up. By 9pm Simon was intoxicated and walked along Victoria Square alone.
He encountered a gang of youths including Lomax who was in a bad mood and had already threatened two other men that night being stopped by his friends who had restrained him.
Simon began to speak with the group about how he was down on his luck and depressed but Lomax was growing increasingly angry and kept asking Simon to change the subject before saying he was going to bomb him, a reference to his surprise heavy-handed punch that he knew carried the force to knock people out.
Simon then offered his hand in friendship several times to attempt to ease the tension but Lomax told him he would ‘bomb him’ if he didn’t go away.
Simon then asked what a bomb was and Lomax punched him so hard in the face that he fell backwards hitting his head on the pavement and fracturing his jaw.
The gang then went to Simon’s aid seeing that he was seriously injured and called an ambulance with paramedics pronouncing him dead at the scene while Lomax walked off and went to his friend’s house to play video games.
Detective Chief Inspector Pete Jackson, of the Major Incident Team, said: “Simon lost his life at the hands of a young thug who was driven by aggression and pent-up violence and revelled in the fact that he could knock vulnerable people unconscious with a single punch, which he referred to as his ‘bomb’.
“Like all cowards and bullies he targeted people who he knew could not defend themselves or fight back. Twice in the previous week he had knocked vulnerable men to the ground with a single punch for no reason whatsoever.
“It is was tragic way for Simon’s evening to end. It has left his father and family devastated. My thoughts are with them and I hope that the justice delivered today will provide some comfort to them.”
Police arrested Lomax two days later. He told officers he had acted in self-defence and one witness described Simon falling over like the minute hand moving from 12 o’ clock to three o’ clock.
Lomax had also attacked two other men which was caught on CCTV with the first victim being a 31-year-old man with learning difficulties on Friday June 7 – only seven days before Simon’s death.
Lomax also punched a 41-year-old man while his victim was intoxicated on Blackfriars Street four days after the initial attack.
He punched him which led the victim to be knocked through the door of a waiting bus with Lomax joking to the bus driver ‘I think he wants an Adult Day Saver,’ before running away.
Robert Hall, Senior Crown Advocate for CPS North West prosecuting, said: “After Mr. Mitchell had started up a friendly conversation with the group, Lomax took offence at something said by Mr Mitchell. What followed was a tragic, unprovoked and thoroughly unnecessary attack by Lomax when instead he could simply have walked away.
“CCTV depicted the escalating pattern of violence that Lomax demonstrated in the week leading up to this fateful night should act as a severe warning to those who may be inclined to follow Lomax’s bad example.
“Whilst today’s conviction of Eden Lomax is a successful outcome in terms of justice, it does not bring back Mr. Mitchell or remove the grief and distress felt by his family and friends. Our thoughts are with them.”
Lomax will be sentenced on December 9.