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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 November 2005, 20:56 GMT
Student 'killed over skin colour'
Anthony Walker
Anthony Walker was attacked near McGoldrick Park
An 18-year-old student was murdered with an axe as he walked through a park simply because he was black, a court has heard.

Anthony Walker was attacked in Huyton, Merseyside, in July as he walked with his girlfriend Louise Thompson and cousin Marcus Binns to a bus stop.

Michael Barton, 17, appearing at Liverpool Crown Court, denies murder.

The jury heard he phoned his brother, Manchester City footballer Joey Barton, to tell him; "I didn't kill him".

The teenager also denies conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm.

He was struck to the head and killed by a single blow from an ice axe
Neil Flewitt QC

On Tuesday, 20-year-old Paul Taylor, of Huyton, pleaded guilty to Anthony's murder.

Prosecutor Neil Flewitt QC said Anthony and Marcus were attacked "for no reason other than the colour of their skin".

During the hearing, the jury was shown a 3D graphic of how the axe was embedded more than two inches (5cm) into Anthony's skull.

Mr Flewitt also held up an ice axe to show the court the kind of weapon used in the attack.

Earlier, he told the jury: "Both Paul Taylor and Michael Barton are white, as is Louise Thompson. Anthony Walker and Marcus Binns are black.

Ice axe similar to the alleged murder weapon
The jury was told an ice axe, similar to this one, was the murder weapon

"It is the prosecution's case that on 29 July 2005 Paul Taylor, Michael Barton and others decided to pursue Anthony Walker and Marcus Binns for no reason other than the colour of their skin.

"They pursued them from a bus stop opposite the Huyton Park public house and they pursued them to attack them with the intention of causing them grievous bodily harm."

Anthony, his girlfriend and Marcus were making their way to a bus stop when they had racial abuse shouted at them, the court heard.

Despite walking away they were followed by a car which allegedly contained both Taylor and Mr Barton, the cousin and brother respectively of Manchester City footballer Joey Barton.

They walked into McGoldrick Park but were confronted by the two men and others, Mr Flewitt told the jury.

Map for Anthony Walker murder trial

"Although Marcus Binns and Louise Thompson were able to run away and escape their attackers, Anthony Walker was not so fortunate," he said.

"He was struck to the head and killed by a single blow from an ice axe."

Mr Flewitt said it was the prosecution's case that the fatal blow was struck by Paul Taylor - but the weapon came from Mr Barton.

The court was told that Taylor, whose nickname is Chomper, and Mr Barton, also from Huyton, fled abroad after the attack before returning to Liverpool on 3 August, escorted by their parents and police.

While on the run, Mr Barton, phoned his Premiership star brother and said: "Listen, I was there but I didn't kill him, it was Chomper, Chomper killed him."

Taylor admits delivering the fatal blow with the axe, Mr Flewitt said.

The jury was told that Mr Barton admits wanting to fight Anthony and Marcus but claims he did not intend to cause grievous bodily harm and says he was not present when the fatal blow was struck.

The trial continues.

Hear the prosecution's case against Michael Barton

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