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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 November 2005, 17:17 GMT
Anthony 'found with axe in head'
Anthony Walker
Anthony Walker was murdered with an ice axe
The cousin of murdered black student Anthony Walker has described how he found him with an axe in his head.

Marcus Binns told the court he was with Anthony and his girlfriend, Louise Thompson, at a bus stop in Huyton when two men racially abused them.

They walked away but were ambushed in McGoldrick Park. Mr Binns ran away and returned with a local resident to find him face up with an axe in his head.

Paul Taylor, 20, has admitted murder. Michael Barton, 17, denies murder.

The prosecution claims that the murder was racially motivated.

He was in a critical condition. He was face up. There was an axe in his head. I started to panic and I called 999
Marcus Binns

Mr Binns told Preston Crown Court, sitting in Liverpool, that the three of them had been waiting at a bus stop when two men came out of the Huyton Park pub and abused them.

"The first thing he said was 'microphone head', and 'oi, you, Michael Jackson'," said Mr Binns, who has an afro hairstyle.

"Anthony asked them what was the problem. As Anthony asked what his problem was, he walked over and stood on the wall. He just stood there and stared."

Mr Binns described how the group walked away and were passed by a green Peugeot 406 car without its lights on. He said he felt as if he was being followed as they walked through the park.

When he saw dark figures emerging from bushes Mr Binns ran to a nearby house without looking back, he told the court.

The householder and his son, both called James Roberts, drove him back to the scene of the attack.

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

"All three of us got out of the car, walked up and we saw him lying there," Mr Binns told the jury.

"He was in a critical condition. He was face up. There was an axe in his head. I started to panic and I called 999."

Later, Louise Thompson told the jury that Anthony and his cousin had been walking her to the bus stop when the racial abuse started.

Louise Thompson broke down in tears as she described the night of the attack.

They were outside the Huyton Park pub when "some lad" shouted racial abuse at them.

She said: "He was shouting at Anthony and Marcus. He was shouting racial comments, coon and nigger.

"He just told them to walk. Walk, nigger, walk.

Map for Anthony Walker murder trial

None of the three responded aggressively to the taunts, she told the jury.

Miss Thompson said she felt "scared" and asked her boyfriend to walk her to the next bus stop.

They took a shortcut across the park, where she said about "three or four" people jumped out of bushes.

"I just saw them jump out and when Anthony let go, I just ran. I panicked. I didn't look around."

Miss Thompson told the court she ran towards a local police station and did not return to the scene of the attack.

'Brandished a knife'

Earlier, the court heard Stanley McLoughton, a former licensee of the Huyton Arms told police he had seen Taylor in the pub brandishing a hunting knife, saying: "Someone's going to get this tonight".

Under cross-examination Mr McLoughton told the jury he had not read his statement before signing it.

David Steer QC, defending Mr Barton, suggested Taylor had said such things but that Mr McLoughton was afraid to say so in open court. This was denied.

The hearing was adjourned until Monday.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See more about what was said in court on Thursday



SEE ALSO:
Student 'killed over skin colour'
16 Nov 05 |  Merseyside
Walker killing: prosecution case
16 Nov 05 |  Merseyside
Man admits killing Anthony Walker
15 Nov 05 |  Merseyside


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