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Crewe one-punch killer, 26, faces years in jail after being found guilty of attack on man, 45

One-punch killer, 26, faces years in prison after being found guilty of fatal attack on man out celebrating his 45th birthday

  • Samuel Thorpe, 26, killed Adam Lovatt, 45, with one punch back in 2018
  • Thorpe was found guilty of manslughter and will be sentenced on November 26
  • Thorpe had fled to North Wales the day after the assualt in Crewe, Cheshire
  • Mr Lovatt hit the ground after being punched and suffered a brain bleed
  • Nicolas Hill, 37, was cleared of manslaughter for his role in Mr Lovatt’s death 
  • Hill will be sentenced in November for assisting an offender after pleading guilty


A man who killed a father-of-two in a one-punch attack as he was celebrating his 45th birthday faces years in prison after he was found guilty of manslaughter.

Adam Lovatt, from Audlem, died after he was assaulted by Samuel Thorpe, in Crewe, in the early hours of May 25 2018.

Thorpe hit Mr Lovatt once in the face outside the Bridge Inn on Shropshire Street.

Mr Lovatt fell backwards, hitting his head on the ground and suffered two skull fractures and a bleed on the brain. He died later that day.

Thorpe, aged 26, of Annions Lane, Wybunbury, was been found guilty of his manslaughter at Liverpool Crown Court after a 10-day trial and will be sentenced on November 26.

Samuel Thorpe, 26, faces a custodial sentence for the manslaughter of Adam Lovatt in 2018

A trial originally took place in January 2020, but a verdict could not be reached and the retrial was set with a new jury for October 11.

On the night of the attack Adam had been spending the evening celebrating his birthday with his wife at the Lord Combermere pub in the village.

He decided to carry on his evening at the Shroppie Fly, on Audlem Wharf, while his wife went home.

While Adam was at the pub, another man in the bar who objected to his presence there, tried to assault Adam but others in the bar intervened.

Almost immediately after this Adam left the pub and started to walk back towards Shropshire Street.

After he left the pub Thorpe and his co-defendant Nicholas Hill also left the pub and set off in order to catch up with Adam.

Thorpe caught up with him next to the Bridge Inn whilst Hill made his way around the back of the building in a bid to cut Adam off.

Adam Lovatt (pictured) was out celebrating his 45th birthday on the night that he was killed

Adam Lovatt (pictured) was out celebrating his 45th birthday on the night that he was killed

Thorpe confronted Adam outside the Bridge Inn, punching him once to the face.

After the assault, Hill approached Thorpe who was trying to rouse Adam, who was clearly unconscious with blood coming from his head. Thorpe then told Hill to go back to the pub, which he did.

As a passing motorist pulled up to check on Adam’s welfare, Thorpe ran away and went back to the Shroppie Fly. The motorist called an ambulance and a number of people who had been drinking at the pub came out and tried to help the victim.

In order to evade police attention, Thorpe and Hill drove away from the scene through quiet country lanes to Market Drayton where they bought lager before they went back to Hill’s house.

There they agreed on a cover story and both made attempts to distance themselves from what occurred.

The following day Thorpe, knowing that the police may be looking for him, threw his phone away and left the area to stay in a guest house in North Wales overnight, only returning when police attended at his parents’ address in order to arrest him.

Detectives from Cheshire Constabulary’s Major Investigation Team launched an investigation following Adam’s death and the pair were subsequently arrested two days later.

Detective Inspector Adam Waller, who led the investigation into the death, said: ‘Adam’s family are grieving and trying to come to terms with life without a loved one and other families will have to come to terms with their loved ones having been convicted and facing the prospect of time behind bars – all because of one punch on a night out.’

Nicolas Hill, aged 37, of Moorsfield Avenue, Audlem, was found not guilty of manslaughter but had already pleaded guilty to assisting an offender at an earlier hearing. He will also be sentenced on November 26.

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