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Last Updated: Sunday, 31 July 2005, 15:29 GMT 16:29 UK
Man held over student axe murder
Anthony Walker
The close-knit community is shocked at Mr Walker's death
A man has been arrested in connection with what is thought to be the racially motivated murder of black student Anthony Walker, police have said.

The A-level student was attacked by a gang of up to four white men in Huyton, Merseyside, on Friday night.

Mr Walker, 18, was bludgeoned with an axe, which was found embedded in his skull. He died later in hospital.

Merseyside Police said an 18-year-old man was arrested after three searches were carried out in the area.

'Couple taunted'

Mr Walker had spent the evening with his girlfriend.

Merseyside Police said that as the couple waited for a bus outside the Huyton Park pub with Mr Walker's cousin they were subjected to a "torrent of racial abuse" by a man in his 20s wearing a hooded top.

They did not retaliate to the abuse and left to find another bus stop.

But they were followed and as they walked through McGoldrick Park they were attacked by a gang of three or four men.

His girlfriend and cousin saw a man carrying an axe bludgeon him, and ran to get help. When they returned minutes later they found him slumped on the ground with massive head injuries.

He was taken to Whiston Hospital and later transferred to Walton neurological centre where he died at 0525 BST on Saturday.

'Shocked and saddened'

Anthony lived on Mellor Close in Tarbock with parents Gee and Steve Walker.

Local Labour MP Eddie O'Hara, who lives just yards from where Mr Walker was attacked, offered his condolences to the family.

He said: "I feel shocked and saddened and shame on behalf of all of us.

"It is entirely untypical of this area. The ethnic community, although small, is well integrated in Huyton and they have friends here and are not just well liked but well loved here.

"We are all totally devastated... it is so terrible and sad."

Resident Jean Watson's daughter Alyssa, 15, went to school with one of Mr Walker's sisters.

She said: "They are just a lovely family, very well-behaved and intelligent.

"Everyone in the community loves them. It is just so sad and so terrible that something like this can happen."

Police are still appealing for information, and are asking people to contact either them, or Crimestoppers in confidence.

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