Bolton: Bodybuilder kills father of two with one punch in nightclub attack

Cocaine-fuelled bodybuilder kills father of two in punch attack at nightclub

Robert Owen Greenhalgh beat Robert Smethust with the power of a ‘heavyweight boxer’ (Image: MEN/Facebook)

A cocaine and steroid-spiked bodybuilder who killed a “warm and caring” father of two with a single punch in an unprovoked attack on a nightclub has been sentenced to more than 11 years in prison.

Robert Owen Greenhalgh, 31, who called himself the “toughest C**t in the North West”, beat Robert Smethurst with the force of a “heavyweight boxer” at the Luxe Lounge in Bolton.

Mr Smethurst suffered a devastating brain injury before he even hit the ground and was pronounced dead about an hour later in the early hours of September 2 last year.

Manchester Crown Court heard Greenhalgh puff out his chest after the brutal attack and goad: “Who else wants anything?”

Amanda, his heartbroken victim’s wife, called Greenhalgh a “coward” as she faced him in court, saying, “I was robbed of my husband, my best friend, my happiness and my future all rolled into one.”

She added: “How could someone be so violent and hateful towards my husband who did absolutely nothing to deserve this attack?

“The love I have for my husband is overwhelming testament to what an incredible man he is. I miss him more than words could ever describe.’

Greenhalgh pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was imprisoned for 11 years and three months.

Judge Anthony Cross QC told him: “You have not given a moment’s thought to what you have done except to boast of your achievement and to invite others to attack you.”

A cocaine and steroid-drunk bodybuilder who described himself as

Greenhalgh dubbed himself the “toughest c*** in the Northwest” (Image: MEN Media)

The court heard that Mr Smethurst, a CEO of an airline company, was out with his cousin Aaron Bates in Bolton city center to celebrate their two birthdays.

At one point earlier in the evening he had accidentally stood on Greenhalgh’s foot but had apologized and there were no further problems.

About 10 minutes before the fatal attack, the court heard there had been an “innocent” conversation between the two groups, but no problems were apparent.

Greenhalgh, who had been doing cocaine before arriving at the club and was sitting in a booth, then suddenly got up, clapped his hands and hit both Mr Smethurst and his cousin.

Mr Bates was able to break his fall and suffered a concussion. He had no memory of the attack. But Mr Smethurst suffered immediate brain trauma and was pronounced dead about an hour later.

Even Greenhalgh’s friend said he was “totally shocked” by what happened as it happened “out of the blue”.

The judge told him: “It is not surprising that not a single person, including the door staff, intervened, so much terror you have caused in this club.”

A cocaine and steroid-drunk bodybuilder who described himself as

Mr Smethurst died about an hour after the unprovoked attack (Image: MEN Media)

Greenhalgh, known to friends and family as Owen, has no criminal record but police questioning his phone revealed a “liking” for violence.

A former debt collector, he boasted that he “knocked out” three people on one occasion.

He described himself as “the hardest c*** in the North West” and spoke of hitting someone while wearing brass knuckles, prosecutor Rob Hall said.

Police were unable to locate the victims in connection with the phone messages, but the judge said they were relevant to declaring him a “dangerous offender”.

Greenhalgh has also spoken out about using steroids to gain mass, as he was a regular at the gym and bragging about his cocaine use.

A cocaine and steroid-drunk bodybuilder who described himself as

Greenhalgh was jailed for more than 11 years (Picture: MEN Media)

In News, he claimed to have consumed £50,000 of the Class A drugs in six months. His relationship broke up and he started living in hotels and with friends.

Family and friends tried to persuade him to give up his drug addiction, and his mother sent a message to her son making a strong request.

She said, “Owen, you should be ashamed. You fool yourself if you think this will end well. The only way this will end is death for you.

“You’re so far away now you don’t even know what’s right and wrong anymore and FYI only idiots do what you do, not nice people. You lie, you cheat, you control with brute force, but you will die if you don’t stop. I’m afraid I’m done with you. It’s ok, but you need help.’

Judge Cross said of the news: “She was only wrong about one thing. It would not be your death, but the death of a perfectly innocent man.’

Mr Smethurst received a moving tribute in court, and his 13-year-old daughter described him as “warm, caring” and “funny”.

He loved fishing and spending time with his family. He and his wife dreamed of taking early retirement in France, she said. His parents told of their pride in their “beautiful” son.

Defending Michael Brady QC, Greenhalgh, who has no fixed address, said he was remorseful and ashamed of his behaviour.

He described Greenhalgh’s messages about his drug use and apparent violence as “uncomfortable bragging”.

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Justin Scacco

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