Pictured: Grinning teen who murdered vulnerable man in nighttime horror attack

13 November 2021, 09:07 | Updated: 13 November 2021, 12:20

Bailey was sentenced to life for the violent attack
Bailey was sentenced to life for the violent attack. Picture: GMP

By Will Taylor

The mugshot of a grinning teenager who murdered a vulnerable man, found dead from dozens of stab wounds in a canal, has been released after he pleaded guilty.

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Liam Bailey, 18, admitted murdering Scott Anderton, 33, whose body was found floating in a Greater Manchester waterway.

Police said the victim was subjected to an "extremely violent and callous" attack.

Harry Maher, 16, was found guilty of murder by a jury while Liam O’Brien, 17, was convicted of manslaughter.

Manchester Crown Court was told Mr Anderton, 33, from Leigh had the "tragic misfortune" of encountering the teenagers as he walked through the town centre at 4am on March 25.

He was carrying a plastic bag, wore a bobble hat and had only one shoe on as he encountered the group.

CCTV footage, released by Greater Manchester Police, shows him and the teenagers at the entrance to the Leeds and Liverpool canal in King Street.

Mr Anderton was murdered in March
Mr Anderton was murdered in March. Picture: GMP

At 4.30am, ripples on the water suggested Mr Anderton had gone into the canal after being assaulted in a 30 second attack.

A post mortem found he suffered 35 separate sharp force injuries, including chop and stab wounds, covering his body from the top of his head to his shins.

He tried to get hold of the bank to pull himself back out, but he lost consciousness and went into the water.

It emerged Bailey, who was also convicted of trying to rob a young man hours before Mr Anderton's murder, and O'Brien had returned to the canal later in the morning to film the police cordon.

Bailey also admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm on a 40-year-old man who suffered life-changing injuries in a late night attack in Leigh on September 1 2020.

Maher and O'Brien were also sentenced
Maher and O'Brien were also sentenced. Picture: GMP

Prosecutor Michael Brady QC said the victim, like Mr Anderton, was targeted because he was "vulnerable and alone".

O'Brien was found guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm in relation to the September 1 incident.

Bailey, of Leigh, was given a life sentence and told to serve a minimum of 23 years and four months in custody on Friday.

Maher, of Standish, got life with a minimum of 16 years before he can be considered for parole.

O'Brien, Leigh, was sentenced to 10 years' youth custody.

Detective Chief Inspector Liz Hopkinson said: "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.

"Thankfully due to the extensive CCTV inquiries we were able to quickly pinpoint their movements that evening and morning and established that all three of them had been with the victim and were involved in his death."