Joey Barton’s brother to be released 17 years after racist murder

A side-by-side shot of Martin Barton and Anthony Walker

He was involved in the brutal murder of Anthony Walker (R) (Image: PA/Getty)

A man who murdered black teenager Anthony Walker in a barbaric racist attack is set to be paroled from prison.

Michael Barton, brother of former Premiership footballer Joey Barton, was 17 when he ambushed and assaulted Walker, 18, at a park in Huyton in 2005.

Walker was taking his girlfriend Louise and cousin Marcus to a bus stop when Barton and his cousin Paul Taylor, then 20, chased them into a park.

Louise and Marcus managed to escape, but Walker’s life ended when Taylor hit the boy in the head with an ice pick, causing brain death.

Then-sentencing Judge Justice Leveson said the pair were guilty of “racist brawling of a kind poisonous to any civilized society.”

Taylor was sentenced to 23 years and eight months in prison.

According to parole board documents, officers at the time described Barton as reclusive, violent, and living a life fueled by drugs and alcohol.

He showed “misguided loyalty” to like-minded people and displayed “racist attitudes”.

Paul Taylor, 20, (left) and Michael Barton, 17, both found guilty of the racist murder of black teenager Anthony Walker on Thursday December 1, 2005. Anthony, 18, was killed with an ice pick after walking away from thugs shouting racial slurs in Huyton, Merseyside in July. Michael Barton and Paul Taylor, the brother and cousin of Manchester City midfielder Joey Barton, have been sentenced to life imprisonment at Preston Crown Court in Liverpool. See PA story COURTS Axe. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Photo credit should read: Merseyside Police/PA Merseyside Police state that these photos have been released for the purpose of reporting this specific case or incident and must be destroyed thereafter.

Paul Taylor (L) and Michael Barton, 17, were found guilty of racist murder in December 2005 (Image: PA)

Barton’s initial sentence was reduced by eight months to 17 years in 2016 because he was turned into a charity fundraiser behind bars. The judges noted his “remarkable transformation.”

Nearly two decades after the vicious attack, a now 34-year-old Barton could soon be released from prison.

Last year he was transferred to an open prison that offers less security and supervision.

The Parole Board, a panel that assesses the potential risk of prisoner release, said yesterday its panel was “satisfied that Mr Barton was eligible for release”.

The panel said: “Having considered the circumstances of his offence, the progress made during his detention and the evidence presented at the hearing, the panel was satisfied that Mr Barton was suitable for release.”

Panelists heard during the parole hearings how Barton had begun taking victim awareness and substance abuse classes.

His licensing terms include living at a specific address, a curfew, and strict surveillance and surveillance.

There will also be restrictions on who he can see and what he can do, including maintaining a no-go zone to avoid contact with victims.


Anthony Walker, a promising high school senior, was attacked with an ax (Image: PA)

The Justice Department has 21 days to consider the parole board’s recommendation.

Walker’s mother, Gee Walker, started a charity on her son’s behalf to combat anti-Black attitudes.

In February, a spokesman for the Anthony Walker Foundation said: “We are aware of the forthcoming Parole Board decision regarding Michael Barton, who murdered Anthony in 2005.

“Every anniversary, birthday, family reunion, and special occasion inspires a sense of infinite loss that will never go away.

“Anthony was an amazing son who loved his family, friends and community. He loved his sport and was an avid basketball player.

“Before his untimely death, Anthony wanted to study law at university and we know he would have made a positive impact on society.” Joey Barton's brother to be released 17 years after racist murder

Justin Scacco

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