Mother: I feel sorry for Anthony's killers

The mother of murdered A-level student Anthony Walker said that her son's killers should "not be allowed to walk the streets" as the international hunt to trace two men was stepped up today.

Gee Walker courageously made the declaration in front of a crowd of hundreds at a vigil in St George's Hall, Liverpool, last night.

The 49-year-old special needs teacher said she felt sorry for her son's attackers.

"When I look at the sea of faces, so many colours, friends, people I know, I was so overwhelmed, I was not sorry that I came here," she told the crowd.

She added: "I know lots of you have lost loved ones and ask, 'Why ?'. I don't want to ask, 'Why ?'. Why didn't you let me hold my son before he died because that hurts so much.

"I am sorry for the people that have done it and if you know anyone then come forward, they don't deserve to walk the streets."

Anthony was a devout Christian and talented athlete.

TV appeal

Mrs Walker's appeal came as Premiership footballer, Joey Barton, issued a public plea to his brother to give himself up to police investigating the racist murder of Anthony.

Michael Barton, 17, and Paul Taylor, 20, were thought to have fled to Europe after the teenager was bludgeoned to death with an axe in Huyton, Merseyside.

In a televised appeal, the 22-year-old footballer called on Michael to come home.

He said: "The horrific killing of Anthony Walker has shocked the country.

"Those responsible for the senseless death of a kind, decent, young man must be brought to justice.

"My sincere condolences go out to Anthony's family.

"My side of the Barton family are sickened by his death. Although I was not brought up with Michael, I urge him to come forward and give himself up to police.

"Michael, if you have any information about what happened you have to tell the police.

"You must do this for the Walker family so they can mourn Anthony and because you know it is the right thing to do."

The footballer, who is originally from Huyton, is not close to his brother and the pair are believed to have been brought up separately after their parents split up.

Interpol alert

Officers are liaising with Interpol colleagues to trace Barton and Taylor.

A 26-year-old man being questioned over the murder was released on police bail today. Detectives have now released all four men who were arrested in connection with the racist killing.

Anthony, his white girlfriend and cousin, Marcus Binns, 17, were walking to a bus stop when a gang of thugs began hurling racist abuse at them on Friday evening.

The gang followed the group into a nearby park and attacked Anthony with an axe.

Bernard Lawson, Assistant Chief Constable of Merseyside Police, said he was pleased with the progress of the investigation so far but insisted there was no room for complacency.

He said: "I'm pleased, in all these sad circumstances, that we are doing our utmost to bring the offenders to justice, but we are not going to be complacent.

"I would urge the public to give us any information they have, and not to think that because other people have told us things that there is no need for them to do the same."

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