THE night Andrew Boardman walked into a stranger’s flat in St Annes, he could not have imagined the horrific attack which was about to befall him.
Mr Boardman, a 53-year-old, recently divorced father-of-two, had never met unemployed Jason Brookes – who did not even live in the property, on Glen Eldon Road, close to St Annes town centre.
It is not clear why Mr Boardman went to the flat, but once inside he was immediately confronted by 23-year-old Brookes, of Elizabeth Court, Layton, who police described as “hell bent on looking for trouble”.
The attack which followed was to have devastating consequences.
Det Supt Paul Withers, leading the investigation for Blackpool Police, described how Brookes subjected the professional baker to an “absolutely shocking” attack on the evening of Saturday, June 30.
It left Mr Boardman with “significant head injuries” and after being rushed to Blackpool Victoria Hospital he died the following day.
Brookes yesterday admitted murdering Mr Boardman – but at Preston Crown Court defence barrister David Fish said the plea was entered on the basis Brookes “did not intend to kill Mr Boardman”.
Describing the incident which unfolded that night, Dep Sup Withers, from the force major investigation team, said the attack was both prolonged and vicious.
He added: “The flat belonged to a friend of Brookes, but the friend was not present at the time.
“Brookes was there with his girlfriend.
“We know Mr Boardman entered the flat and after a very short period – within minutes – he became involved in a confrontation with Brookes.
“Brookes clearly got the best of Boardman and attacked him for a prolonged period.
“He sustained significant head injuries as a result.”
In court, Louise Blackwell, prosecuting, said a “tussle” broke out between the two men after Mr Boardman walked into the flat and “neither the defendant or his girlfriend knew who he was.”
During the fight Brookes’ girlfriend had intervened to the point where she “did not believe the victim was going to die”, Ms Blackwell added.
Police and paramedics were called to the scene at around 11pm and Brookes was quickly arrested.
Det Supt Withers said officers acted quickly to arrest the defendant after the incident.
He added: “We knew 100 per cent we had the person responsible.
“Brookes had been behaving in an aggressive manner through the course of the evening and was hell-bent on looking for trouble.
“He came across Mr Boardman and we know the end result.
“The attack was absolutely shocking and the level of violence was significant.
“He was attacked in quite a brutal manner.
“I think it’s terrible and it could have been anybody.
“It was not some feud which had been going on for years, they had never come across each before as far as I can see.
Mr Boardman is understood to have worked in the former Kembers bakery, on St Andrews Road South, St Annes, and lived in Lytham prior to splitting from his wife Eileen.
The couple had two children together Zoe, 25, and Sarah, 22.
In the immediate aftermath of the murder his heartbroken family released a statement which read: “Andy spent the majority of his life in Lytham and worked as a baker in St Annes.
“He was recently divorced from Eileen and was a loving dad to Zoe, 25, and Sarah, 22. We are saddened by his sudden passing.”
Brookes will be sentenced at Preston Crown Court on November 19.