Liverpool

Widnes pub landlord stab killer 'believed he was Jesus'

Christian Thornton Image copyright Family photograph
Image caption Christian Thornton was stabbed 11 times, including once in the heart

A man who stabbed a pub landlord to death believed he was Jesus, his estranged wife has told a court.

Christian Thornton was attacked by Lee Abbott outside the Hammer and Pincers in Widnes, Cheshire, on 11 August.

Liverpool Crown Court heard the defendant believed he was Jesus because his mother's middle name was Mary, his father's middle name was Joseph and his middle name was Christian.

Abbott, 35, denies murdering the 49-year-old but admits manslaughter.

Kerri Abbott, 40, who is going through a divorce from the defendant, told the court Mr Abbott had episodes where he would "lose touch with reality".

"He really thought he was Jesus, it was horrific to live with," she said.

The couple married in 2012, but split after about three years, the court heard.

"He tried really hard to have some normality in his life and have a normal life but unsuccessfully," said Mrs Abbott.

Image caption Lee Abbott had been barred from the pub prior to the attack

The court heard she had been in touch with Mr Abbott on the day of the stabbing because he had been due to look after their son, but changed his plans.

Mrs Abbott sent a text message to her ex-partner at 15:15 GMT, minutes before the stabbing, asking if he was "on hard drugs" following a phone call, the court heard.

She said: "He was just incoherent. He sounded really, really in a terrible state. He sounded crazier than ever."

The jury was told there was also a 52-second phone call between the two following the killing.

Mrs Abbott said: "He sounded like a crazy man, someone who didn't know what was going on, and he was crying."

She said she knew Mr Abbott, of Rose Street, Widnes, carried knives because he was "frightened for his life".

The trial continues.

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