officers were called to Worsley Court on February 13th, 2020, following reports Mr Newton had been found with serious head injuries.
He was taken to hospital but was sadly pronounced dead the following day.
Nathan Scott Williams (top right) was arrested the day after Mr Newton had been found and later charged with his murder.
Williams stood trial last year accused of Mr Newton’s murder. However, the jury were discharged after being unable to reach a verdict.
Earlier this year, Williams, 32, of Worsley Court, Oswaldtwistle, pleaded guilty to Mr Newton’s manslaughter when he appeared before a judge at Preston Crown Court.
On the evening February 12th, 2020, Williams and Mr Newton had been socialising with others at a nearby property.
The atmosphere at the start was jovial, but this changed after Mr Newton mistakenly directed a comment regarding childcare arrangements towards the defendant.
Both men left the property at this point and a short time later witnesses reported hearing Williams shouting: “I’ve hit him.”
Seconds later Mr Newton was found alone, lying on the ground with injuries to his head.
Williams returned a short time later and when he was challenged about attacking Mr Newton said: “I didn’t mean it.”
In the early hours of February 13th, Mr Newton was taken to hospital with multiple fractures to the face and skull, as well as a bleed on the brain. However, he never recovered from those injuries and died later that morning. The cause of Mr Newton’s death was later discovered to be blunt head trauma.
While Mr Newton was in hospital receiving treatment, Williams was telling friends that he wouldn’t accept anybody talking to him like the victim had and also claimed that he had not been the aggressor. Showing his friends his knuckles, Williams accepted that he had punched Mr Newton. It was the prosecution’s case that he had also used his feet in the attack.
The following day, Williams told police who were conducting enquiries into the assault that the Mr Newton had fallen but claimed he hadn’t seen it.
Williams was arrested later in the afternoon of February 14th on suspicion of wounding with intent.
Two days later officers recovered a text message that Williams had sent to a friend on February 13th in which he said he would have to hide for a while because he had either killed Mr Newton or had put him into a coma.
Forensic officers also recovered spots of Mr Newton’s blood from trainers belonging to Williams.
In his police interview Williams accepted socialising at the property in Worsley Court but said he had drunk two litres of vodka and did not remember what had happened.
DCI Lee Wilson said: “This senseless violence has cost a loving family man his life first and foremost my thoughts remain with Stuart Newton and all those who knew and loved him.
“The level of violence dished out by Williams was completely unacceptable and in no way proportionate to anything Stuart may have said or done.
“I was pleased Williams eventually took responsibility for his reckless actions earlier this year when he pleaded guilty to manslaughter. I am pleased Stuart’s family have now achieved some form of justice and seen the killer of their loved one given a significant custodial sentence.
“I and the family would like to thank our colleagues in the CPS and the prosecution barristers Mr Ford and Miss Appleton for their work in bringing Williams to justice.”
Mr Newton’s family said: “Stuart Newton, beloved husband, father and grandfather, taken too soon at the age of 65. An engineer by trade Stuart was an intelligent, hardworking man who led a full life.
“As well as his work he enjoyed cooking, doing his crosswords and watching the cricket, snooker and football. He enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren going on walks and exploring nature, he enjoyed regular holidays with his wife Susan, he was a father to turn to for anything we needed and he was loved by all who knew him best.
“We miss him dearly and he is forever in our thoughts. We have our memories and they will last forever. We hope you can now Rest In Peace until we all meet again.
“As a family we would like to thank all of the Investigation and Prosecution teams particularly Detective Chief Inspector Lee Wilson and Andrew Ford QC for the justice that has been served today, their hard work and dedication has been second to none. We would also like to thank our liaison officers who have supported us all throughout. Finally now, after two years, we can start to grieve knowing that justice has been served.”
Katie Marsden Senior Crown Prosecutor for North West CPS said: “This is a tragic case involving the unnecessary death of a 65-year-old man.
“Nathan Williams assaulted Stewart Newton following a brief verbal argument. Sadly Mr Newton received significant head injuries from which he never recovered and he died in hospital the following day.
"Our thoughts are very much with the family and friends of Mr Newton at this difficult time.”