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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 November 2005, 14:49 GMT
Accused denies supplying ice axe
Anthony Walker
Anthony Walker was found with an axe in his head
A teenager accused of murdering student Anthony Walker has denied supplying the ice axe which was used to kill him.

Michael Barton, 17, of Boundary Road, Huyton, denies killing the 18-year-old, who was found with an axe in his head in McGoldrick Park, Huyton, in July.

He originally told police he found the axe outside a pub and took it with him.

But on Thursday he told Preston Crown Court, sitting in Liverpool, the first time he saw the axe was when it was embedded in Anthony's head.

He said the previous story had been concocted by his cousin Paul Taylor, 20, of Elizabeth Road, Huyton, who has already admitted murder.

You knew perfectly well it was in the car because you put it there
Prosecution barrister Neil Flewitt QC
Mr Barton is charged with murder on the grounds that he supplied the weapon and initiated the attack on Anthony and his cousin, Marcus Binns.

Mr Barton, who is the brother of Manchester City footballer Joey Barton, said he did not see Taylor take the axe from his car or hold it in his hand as they walked through McGoldrick Park to confront Anthony.

He was shown a wooden replica of the axe, which is 2.5ft long and looks like a small pickaxe, by prosecution barrister Neil Flewitt QC.

He denied seeing the axe in Taylor's car before the attack, but admitted it would have been impossible to spot had it been there.

Mr Flewitt said: "You knew perfectly well it was in the car because you put it there and you took it with you, didn't you?"

Paul Taylor (picture courtesy of Merseyside Police/PA)
Paul Taylor has pleaded guilty to Anthony's murder
"No," Mr Barton replied.

During an interview with police he had described the axe in detail, including the fact that it was lightweight.

Asked how he could give such a good description of an axe he had seen only briefly and in the dark, he replied: "Because I've seen them on the telly before."

Mr Flewitt said Mr Barton was seen with the axe by a member of the public two days before the attack, and alleged he was the one who took the axe to the park. Mr Barton denied this.

He also denied initiating the confrontation with Anthony, his girlfriend Louise Thompson and Marcus as they waited for a bus outside the Huyton Park pub.

This was despite conflicting evidence from Louise, who said it was the shorter of the two men who had been hurling racist abuse at them.

Mr Barton admitted he was shorter than Taylor, but again denied being responsible for the abuse.

The trial continues.

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