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Last Updated: Friday, 6 October 2006, 10:49 GMT 11:49 UK
Walker race hate messager jailed
Anthony Walker
Anthony Walker was killed in August 2005
A man who posted racist messages on a website set up in memory of murdered black teenager Anthony Walker has been jailed for two years and eight months.

Neil Martin, 30, of Maghull, posted the offensive remarks just days after the 18-year-old student was killed with an ice axe in Huyton, Merseyside.

He pleaded guilty at Liverpool Crown Court to publishing material intended or likely to stir up racial hatred.

The teenager was murdered in McGoldrick Park in Huyton on 29 July 2005.

Gee Walker
Hitler started with an idea, slavery started with an idea, so it is good that this was stopped in time
Gee Walker

At an earlier hearing before South Sefton magistrates, Martin was also convicted of 33 counts of making indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs of a child.

At the hearing on Friday he was jailed for a further six months for downloading the indecent images.

Judge Henry Globe QC, the Recorder of Liverpool, told Martin he had "trespassed and intruded on the grief of the Walker family".

"The intention of the website was innocent, honourable and well motivated," he said.

"You accessed that website and you abused its use. You posted highly abusive, insulting and racist messages on the site."

The judge said there were at least six messages posted on the website, but that he did not want to repeat the content.

Sentence 'adequate'

During police interviews, Martin admitted posting the messages but insisted he was not racist.

Heather Lloyd, defending, said Martin had no history of racist behaviour and that he felt "deeply ashamed".

She said: "He was isolated and living in a fantasy world, spending hours on his computer in his room where his persona could be as he made it, good or bad."

Miss Lloyd said that her client had written a letter of apology to both the court and to the Walker family.

Anthony's mother, Gee Walker, attended the hearing and speaking afterwards described the sentence as "adequate".

But Mrs Walker said she had refused to accept the letter after hearing what he had written on the online book of condolence for her son.

"It was shocking to think someone could think something so evil and it is good that they are doing something about stopping these type of people," she said.

"Hitler started with an idea, slavery started with an idea, so it is good that this was stopped in time."

Killers jailed

Two men, Paul Taylor and his cousin Michael Barton, were convicted in November last year of murdering Anthony Walker.

The pair had ambushed Anthony after shouting racist abuse at him as he waited for a bus with his girlfriend and cousin.

Both were jailed for life and the judge said Taylor would serve at least 23 years and eight months before he would be eligible for parole.


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SEE ALSO
Man admits racist Walker messages
06 Jul 06 |  Merseyside

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