Ex-Premier League star Joey Barton’s racist killer brother who murdered black student, 18, with an ice axe could be moved to an open prison after taking course on ‘victim awareness’
- Michael Barton, 32, killed Anthony Walker, 18, in a sickening racist attack in 2005
- He was jailed for what the trial judge called ‘poisonous racist thuggery’
- Barton could now be moved to an open prison on Parole Board recommendation
Joey Barton’s racist killer brother could be moved to an open prison after the plan was recommended by the Parole Board.
Michael Barton, the brother of ex-Premier League footballer Joey, and his cousin Paul Taylor ambushed 18-year-old Anthony Walker in a park in Merseyside in 2005.
They hurled racist abuse at the ‘blameless young black man’ before driving an ice axe through his skull in a sickening attack. The thugs then fled to Amsterdam.
Barton was escorted back to Liverpool by his parents and the police after Joey, then playing for Manchester City, told him to turn himself in.
He was found guilty of murder and jailed for what the trial judge called ‘poisonous racist thuggery’, having initiated the confrontation and supplied the axe. Taylor was jailed for life.
At the time, sentencing judge Mr Justice Leveson said the pair were guilty of ‘racist thuggery of a type that is poisonous to any civilised society’.
Parole Board papers detailing the decision described Barton at the time of his offending as someone who led an anti-social lifestyle fuelled by drink and drugs, and showing ‘misguided loyalty’ to like-minded people and displaying ‘racist attitudes’ as well as condoning violence.
Michael Barton (left) murdered ‘blameless young black man’ Anthony Walker, 18, with his cousin Paul Taylor, 20, in McGoldrick Park, Huyton, on July 30, 2005, and will have a parole hearing days before the 15th anniversary of the murder
Joey (pictured in March) told his brother to turn himself in and he was escorted back to Liverpool from Amsterdam by their parents and the police on August 3, 2005
According to evidence presented at the hearing, the thug’s initial behaviour behind bars had been poor but he had matured over the last decade and, now 32, had been taking part in courses on victim awareness and substance abuse.
The document said: ‘After considering the circumstances of his offending and the progress made while in custody, as well as the benefits and risks of Mr Baron transferring to open conditions, the panel recommended that he should be progressed in this way.’
It is now for Justice Secretary Robert Buckland to decide whether to accept the Board’s recommendation.
When Barton first entered the prison system, his behaviour was atrocious, London’s High Court heard in 2016.
Gee Walker, Anthony’s mother, said the decision to reduce Barton’s sentence in 2016 sends out the wrong message to criminals
Viewed as a ‘high risk’ prisoner, he was disciplined for fighting, stealing, making a model gun out of matchsticks and possessing illicit hooch
His sentence was cut short in 2016 when he became a charity worker behind bars, but Anthony’s mother, Gee, slammed the High Court’s decision at the time.
A Parole Board spokesman said: ‘We will only make a recommendation for open conditions if a Parole Board panel is satisfied that the risk to the public has reduced sufficiently to be manageable in an open prison.
‘This was supported by all those who gave evidence at the hearing.’
Barton, who was told to serve at least 17 years for the murder, will be eligible for parole in just under two years’ time when his minimum term expires.