Page last updated at 11:37 GMT, Tuesday, 12 August 2008 12:37 UK

Murder charges over youth's death

Michael Causer
A book of condolence has been opened in Mr Causer's memory

Two Huyton teenagers accused of assault in an alleged homophobic attack have been told they now face murder charges after the 18-year-old victim died.

Michael Causer was fatally wounded in the attack on 25 July on Tarbock Road, Huyton, and died eight days later.

James O'Connor, 19, of Reeds Road and Gavin Alker, 18, of Woodfall Crescent, appeared at Liverpool Crown Court.

Charges of causing grievous bodily harm with intent were upgraded to murder and both were bailed until 17 November.

Their bail had earlier been granted by magistrates and the Recorder of Liverpool, Judge Henry Globe, QC, renewed this but told them: "You are both extremely fortunate to be on bail."

He said it was "extraordinary" that anyone charged with murder should be on bail but that he would not interfere with the magistrates' decision.

A provisional trial date was fixed for 26 January.

A 19-year-old man, from Huyton, has been charged with witness intimidation in connection with the attack.

A book of condolence has been opened at Liverpool Town Hall in Mr Causer's memory.

Attack victim was 'life and soul'
05 Aug 08 |  Merseyside

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