Two men dead and ‘killer’ caged in tragic citizen’s arrest gone wrong


A citizen’s arrest ended in tragedy after two men ended up dead and one was caged.

The tragedy which unfolded on an afternoon in May 2019 have torn several families apart.

The ordeal began when garage boss Jonathan Hassall and his mechanic Benjamin Hunt were informed of a sledgehammer-wielding man nearby to their business in Longton, Staffordshire.

The man in question Christopher Walters, 25, had been damaging vehicles, Stoke-on-Trent Live writes.

They could see him on a nearby street and felt that they had to get involved in the interests of public safety.

They detained the 25-year-old, from Bentilee, and kept him on the ground until Staffordshire Police arrived.

But the police did not arrive immediately and Christopher suffered a cardiac arrest as he was being detained. He lost his fight for life at the Royal Stoke University Hospital.

Benjamin Hunt, from Heathcote Street, in Longton, later admitted a manslaughter charge and was last year handed a 38-month prison sentence. His colleague and co-accused Jonathan Hassall, aged 50, of Albert Street, Longton, killed himself just days before the manslaughter case was due back in court.

Police are called in Wood Street, in Longton, at 2.30pm on May 15, 2019. They confirm three men have been arrested in connection with the death of a man.

A damaged car in nearby Speedwall Street was cordoned off by police.



Christopher Walters

Tributes flood in for Christopher Walters following his death.

The 25-year-old was named by police six days after his death.

Friend Madison Amos said: “He was such a lovely man, loved and cared for by everyone. He was a part of our family and he will be missed a lot.”



Flowers left outside New Road Garage, in Longton, following the death of Jonathan Hassall, who took his own life before he could go on trial for manslaughter
Flowers left outside New Road Garage, in Longton, following the death of Jonathan Hassall, who took his own life before he could go on trial for manslaughter

Dozens of floral tributes were left outside New Road Garage following the death of Jonathan.

He had been due to go on trial charged with the manslaughter of Christopher Walters.

Neighbor Joseph Ibinson said: “He’s going to be missed in the street. He was a very popular guy which you can tell from all the flowers outside the garage. It has been a shock for the street, it’s horrible. My thoughts are with his Familia.”



Christopher Walters passed away at the Royal Stoke University Hospital
Christopher Walters passed away at the Royal Stoke University Hospital

Devastated Dawn Price has now lost three children following the death of son Christopher.

“I feel like I have been robbed of my son. My life has never been the same.

“It’s just been absolutely horrendous, it’s like I’m living in a horror story. Christopher was the third child that I have lost.”



Solar lights were damaged and bags of dog poo left at Christopher Walters' memorial in Wood Street in Longton
Solar lights were damaged and bags of dog poo left at Christopher Walters’ memorial in Wood Street in Longton

Vandals have repeatedly smashed up the shrine to Christopher Walters. It has been set up on Wood Street.

Mum Dawn Price said: My memorial to Chris has been trashed and trashed again.

“I think the people destroying his memorial are callous and heartless, there’s just no need for it. What gives them the right to trash my memorial?”



Mechanic Benjamin Hunt
Mechanic Benjamin Hunt

Mechanic Benjamin Hunt is jailed for 38 months at Stafford Crown Court. The 32-year-old admitted killing Christopher Walters.

Following the sentencing hearing, Detective Inspector Alan Lyford said: “The court heard that the force used to restrain him was excessive and went on for a long time, leading to his death.

“This is a truly tragic case and we offer our condolences to Mr Walters’ family.”



Benjamin Hunt's sister Jade and his dad Wayne have spoken about the incident and prison sentence
Benjamin Hunt’s sister Jade and his dad Wayne have spoken about the incident and prison sentence

The family of Benjamin Hunt sued their loved one’s prison release after he was jailed for 38 months.

It comes as thousands of supporters signed a petition calling for Ben’s prison release. Questions are also asked about the length of time it took Staffordshire Police to arrive on the scene.

Sister Jade said: “Ben is going to suffer for the rest of his life. He only tried to protect the public and didn’t think about himself. He wasn’t out to do any harm to anyone.”



New Road Garage, in Longton
New Road Garage, in Longton

Garage boss Jonathan Hassall took his own life after Googling the maximum jail sentence for assault just days before he was due in court.

The 51-year-old was found hanging at his place of work on March 2 last year. An inquest delivered a suicide verdict.

North Staffordshire area coroner Emma Serrano said: “He had taken himself to his garage. He was due in court to face a trial for a serious matter on March 8. On March 1 and 2 he had conversations with solicitors about what was going to happen He has gone to the garage and hung himself, in spite of the fact he had not made it apparent to his family this is how he was feeling.

“It is more likely than not he intended to take his own life. I extend my condolences to his family.”

An inquiry has this week been held into the death of Christopher Walters.

It delivered a verdict of unlawful killing.

Family lawyer Nicola Brooks said: “He was simply running away. As it turned out, he was running for his life and was cornered in an area of ​​Wood Street, where he was set upon for some 15 to 20 minutes.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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