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28 October 2014
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Anthony Walker
Anthony Walker was killed in July 2005

Racism on Merseyside

Following the racist murder of Anthony Walker is racism prevalent on Merseyside? Add your comments here.


The killers of black teenager Anthony Walker have been jailed for life.  A judge at Liverpool crown court said it had been a premeditated racially aggravated attack.

Twenty-year-old Paul Taylor had admitted killing the A-level student with an ice axe as he walked through a park in the Huyton area of Merseyside.  The judge recommended he should serve a minimum of twenty-three years and eight months. Michael Barton, who's seventeen, was found guilty on Wednesday.  He'll serve a minimum of 17 years and 8 months.

"I can confirm that racist graffiti was left at McGoldrick Park and we know that it happened after today's verdict."
Inspector Michael Jarman

Following the jury's guilty verdict on Barton on Wednesday, racist graffiti was found daubed at the scene of Anthony Walker's murder in Merseyside, police have said.

The incident happened just hours after teenager Michael Barton was found guilty of murdering Anthony.

The graffiti was painted just inside the entrance to McGoldrick Park, Huyton, where the 18-year-old black student was killed with an ice axe.

Merseyside Police removed the graffiti and refused to disclose the details of what was written.

Insp Michael Jarman, of Merseyside Police, said on Wednesday evening: "I can confirm that racist graffiti was left at McGoldrick Park and we know that it happened after today's verdict.

"We are taking statements from people in the area and we are appealing for anyone with information to contact us.

"We believe this type of incident represents a small minority in the Huyton area and we won't tolerate it.

last updated: 01/12/05
Have Your Say
Does Merseyside have a wider problem with racism than has been acknowledged? What can be done to improve things? Add your comments here.
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Susan
Attitudes are changing. My family were not strongly rascist but the odd comment was commonplace. Now I have a black partner (who everyone loves), and now there are no rascist comments in my family - or they have me to answer to! Perhaps this is integration on a very small scale but it's a start.

Lid, Kirkby
I too have lived in Liverpool and London (David Brown). I disagree with the view that London is less violent. I went to a school in London where I was nearly stabbed a number of times and my brother was burnt and routinely assaulted. My initiation ceremony, on moving to the area was to 'go down Woolwich and mug someone' (thankfully I saw sense through my drug-fuelled haze and went home to bed). I visited people who threatend to kill me for not being able to make a spliff, and had numerous fights and felt intimidated when moving about the area. In contrast, Liverpool, even in some of its most deprived parts, does not fill me with the sense of fear that I felt when living in London. The simmering racial tension and undercurrent of violence does not exist to anywhere near the same extent as it does in London. Racism and bigotry does exist in Liverpool, but in the main I think people are generally pretty aware of their social morals and responsibilites and this includes understanding Racism.

Judith
May you rest in peace, as you are God's Child

Jay B
On the day Barton and Taylor were sentenced, I caught a very small item on the BBC main news about the trial and murder of Christopher Yates, a student from London. Who, like Anthony, was waiting for a bus with his girlfriend before being set upon by three Asian men. The court heard that after the attack, his killers shouted: "We have killed the white man”. I was quite surprised that I had not heard about this incident on TV, radio etc. before? The murder of Anthony Walker sickened everyone throughout the country as it was truly a disgusting, evil crime. However, I do feel uneasy by our judicial system, police and, especially, our media’s treatment of similar crimes were the victim is white.

PT
Being born, brought up and living in the Huyton area I am familiar with local attitudes. Two black friends of mine from Trinidad stayed over-night and frequented some of the local pubs. The 'antaganistic' attitude suprised even myself and felt ashamed of being a 'local'. There is a problem. How to address it I do not know. I went with my two friends in Trinidad and enjoyed their hospitality and never once did I feel threatened. I was the proverbial 'token white'. I would go back anytime. No punishment can be suitable for such a horrific crime. Though, how about using them as spare parts, ie, they have a good liver, kidneys, heart, etc. They have taken a life now let them give some life back by sacrificing their own. OOp's sorry! they have rights. No amount of condolences can help heal the wounds that Anthonies family must feel. I hope that the Lord Jesus and His angels comfort them in their grieving. God bless and encourage them.

WS
I can vouch for racism being present, i have been on the receiving end of abuse on nights in liverpool once or twice, on one occassion having curry and rice thrown at me, and then after challenging the culprits i was targetted with coins....nice society ey!

Bazza
As an expat Scouse, I found the brutal and barbaric taking of Anthony Walkers life beyond belief. What has happened to the people of Liverpool that such an atrocity can happen. Liverpool "The City of Culture" ? If this is the culture of liverpool, stay away if you are different in anyway.

Natalie, Liverpool
I think Liverpool has a terrible problem with racism, and I worry that parents pass on their bigotries to their children and to other youngsters, so the problem is not going to go away quickly. I have never lived in any other city so cannot make comparisons, but I have friends from outside Liverpool and from outside UK and am extremely reluctant to have them visit me here because I am so embarrassed by some of the small-minded attitudes that pervade this potentially great city.

Natalie
To Jane Ignorance exists in many forms; your attitude seems no better than the average racist scumbag. In order for society to progress we need to eradicate ALL prejudices, not just racism. White working-class 22 year old female from Liverpool, amazingly without children and with a job! How about that?!

Andrew
I worry about the comments the judge at the Anthony Walker trial and the sentence handed out. Don't get me wrong I think the time they will serve is still not enough ,its the reason behind it I don't agree with. If I was murdered whilst walking along the road my murderer would recieve 15yrs jail cut to 7 and a half years with good behaviour. Why should my life be any less important than either a coloured person or a policemans? setting standards dependent on the colour of your skin or your position in life is probably the biggest cause of racism and yet is carried out everyday in our courts. I am happy that these two murderers where caught and locked away and all my sympaties lie with Anthony's family,not because he was black but because he was human.

Carl James
Yes. Eductate. Parents educate your kids. Teachers educate your students. There is a song called 'Where Did We Go Wrong' by Young Kof that higlights the problem. Find it and listen to it.

scottzy
this country is now a muti-cutural country, we gotta accept it, we can't go round being against different colours, races we gotta accept it!!

Emma
I wanna say that its very upsetting that anthony was murdered for the colour of his skin.I think that the people who did this to him should be locked up 4 life.Im glad that justice has being done.R.I.P Anthony Walker

John Mc
Whilst I think that Liverpool certainly has a problem with race relations, I don't think that being aware of other regions or citys' problems is "trivialising" it. I have friends (unfortunately) in Manchester who hold racist attitudes towards the Asian population & Manchester seems far from integrated in reality, apart from its town sized student populations. Trouble that flared up in Oldham, Burnley, Bradford etc were all down to racial/cultural tensions. The point I'm making is that across all races there are problems but the reason I feel that people in Liverpool might not want to shout too loud about their problem is because Liverpool has been so much maligned, mocked and pilloried in the media before that they don't want to be singled out for all of the worlds evils. I totally agree that poor education and poverty can breed racist attitudes when one race dominates an area in terms of its actual presence. I think Liverpool has had, & still has, a genuine culture of racism and hopefully as Liverpool pulls itself out of the doldrums this will change. Finally, I'd like to say that in line with the cowardice of racists, maybe the smaller the minority the more abuse they get due to their not being safety in numbers? Just because people don't say it in other towns doesn't mean they don't think it. I think Mrs Walker recognises more than most it's about education & God Bless her for her dignified stance in all of this.

HT
Liverpool is still mostly a racist city. I commonly (on a weekly basis) receive racist abuse whilst walking around the city centre just for not being white.

Michael
I'd just like to congratulate His Honour Judge Leveson QC for reflecting the feelings of all Liverpudlians and our wider society, with the wrath of his sentencing. And just remember any racist thugs out there, those amongst us considering ourselves caucasian - we are actually 'pink' - so there's not such thing as that total rubbish about, "white supremacy"

nicole sully
who ever did this to anthony just because of the coulor of his skin should be shot. that is horrible

Gurmit
What courage the Walker family has, as posted by Greg, i have nothing but shear respect for Mrs Walker. A women who is practising what she preaches, it takes a very special person to forgive in such circumstances. Faith has a large part of her forgiveness towards the two thugs who did this. If all faith in God, who knows what world would hold. Peace, love and unity. Rest in peace, Anthony.

Out of Towner
Does this include the attitude most people round here have to what they call "out of towners"? This is supposed to be the city of culture. Acceptance is part of that! Stop being so insular.

Dianne (Huyton)
Merseyside along with a hell of a lot of other cities in Great Britain suffers an imense amount of racisim - it has took the tragic events of Anthony Walker to open peoples eyes. We need an overhaul of the education system and parents need to take responsibility for their childrens attitude towards non-whites - when I was a child, I am sickened to say I heard my parents us racisit words, but they did'nt know any better - it was only what they had been taught by their parents, luckily I have a mind of own and have never been influenced by anyone other than myself. It is lack of education and fear of the unknown - unless children are taught through education and in the home that everybody is equal and everybody has the right to their own beliefs and religion as long as nobody is getting hurt - things will escalate! But don't forget - it has to cut both ways - white people are also victims of racisim and it cannot be one rule for one and a different rule for another. This has to be straight across the board - we need to live as one.

Jen
As we no longer have capital punishment, I agree with CJ that for such a horrific, shocking and brutal murder such as this, that Anthony's killers should have been given life without parole. Let's not forget the horrific brutality of this unprovoked murder on a young man with all his life ahead of him just because of the colour of his skin. Everyone should be concerned that we have people like this walking our streets with hatred so intense that they are prepared at whim to butcher innocent people. This is very disturbing. With this act and the fact that there are other people who added racist graffitti at the site of the murder is disgusting and for me highlights a wider problem in Merseyside, but also other areas in the UK, that needs to be addressed and not underestimated. Improvement should come by more education - a start would be more education on this topic to youngsters in schools. My sincere wishes go to Anthony's courageous family and friends. Rest in peace Anthony.

lita
i am ever so sorry for your sons death if it was my son i could never of forgived them they are just evil when i red about it in the paper i jut thought wot a waste he was only 18 and he had been killed for his racis and then you forgive him that is somethink i could never do.

Ben
I'm a Liverpool local, and to be honest I wasn't shocked at all by these attacks - they simply represent the most extreme nature of a very commonplace attitude of violence - I think it was inevitable that something like this would happen, but that doesn't make it any less of a tragedy. Overall I'd say Liverpool is much more racially tolerant than the majority of cities down south - from my expereinces the wirral needs to catch up though as there's still a lot of hostility towards outsiders, oarticularly those of different races.

Margaret
Not only Merseyside but most places have a bigger racism problem than they care to admit to,I was reduced to tears listening to mrs Walker talk, she is an inspiration to us all, being told that your child has been killed must be the most awful thing any parent can imagine, but, to be told that he did every think that he could to defuse the situation, and was still murdered purely because of the colour of his skin goes beyond comprehension,My thoughts and prayers are with the Walker family and his girlfriend, and all the people who realy loved him.

eric, london
After hearing her comments on forgiveness, i have to say that i think that Gee Walker is an amazing woman, and an example to us all. I was moved to tears.

Gareth
This isn't Justice....When a Rottwieler kills a child in this country we are quick to put the animal down to make sure it isn't a danger to society. So why is it different for killers like Paul Taylor and Michael Barton who can clearly differentiate between black and white and right and wrong should be allowed to continue living.......Bring back capital punishment!!!

Riddle
That happens almost everyday in US. Sad..

jg
these racist thugs are not uncommen in liverpool, it may well happen again.

G K
I live in Liverpool and feel utterly disgusted by what happened. My heart goes to the family and salutes to them for behaving in such a dignified manner. Me being an asian living here cant agree more than the view that prejudice based on skin color exists so predominantly in our community. I myself have been abused, assaulted based on my skin color only, while I came to work here on the invitation of UK govt. I dont seek this as racism but, I see it as ignorance, effect of socio economic deprivation, drugs and alcohol. If we wish to drive this out, we need to focus more on education, take more stringent measures to eradicate out drugs, unemployment and give sense of purpose to our youth.

Laura from runcorn
i think that what happened is terrible and the lads who done it should never b let out they should rot in hell

bolsh
I FILL SO SORRY FOR WHAT HAS HAPPEN TO ANTHONY,IT IS VERY VERY BAD TO KILL SOMEONE BECAUSE OF RACIS. BUT LETS FORGIVE THEM.AS JUSES SAID FATHER FORGIVE THEM BECAUSE THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING. TONY MAY YOU REST IN PEACE IN THE HANDS OF GOD. AMEN

Greg
I am unbelievabley moved by the way mrs walker has forgiven her sons killers.She is a beacon of light for us all to learn from.I find it hard to forgive someone for making a mistake at work.She has helped me open my eyes and put things in perspective.If a grief stricken women can do this the even i have hope of changing the way i treat people.The world needs more people like her, it is just a tradgedy it took the killing of her son for the world to recognize such a women

C J
As usual these magistrates do not give long enough sentences these days, it should be the same as in the states, for this horrendus crime they should have been given life without parole. We dont need these type of people walking our streets & punishments should be very very severe to deter others form doing the same.

David Brown
As an ex-Liverpudlian now living in London, I have to say I believe Liverpool is truly in denial about its problem with violence and racism. And please don't say it happens everywhere- I live in central London and NEVER see the type of violence/agressive behaviour I witnessed every Friday/Saturday in Liverpool - it's why I (and many other people I've spoken to) moved. Until Liverpool truly accepts its problem and stops trivialising the ingrained aggressive behavior as "y'know, the lads, bit of a laugh" nothing will change. Rest in Peace Anthony

David
The only way to truly beat racism is education at a very early age. For the rest of us we should look deeply and honestly into our own hearts and identify any latent pregudices that we might have. Only by admiting them can we dispell them.

Irene Dann
I an so sad at the loss of this young man. However, I am angry that the law can impose stronger penalties if it believes race was a motive in murder. I disagree. Speaking as someone whose older brother was murdered, I feel that my brother was worth no less than Anthony and that ANYONE convicted of MURDER should serve a whole of life sentence, irrespective of the colour of they or their victims skin. I have no doubt that there are people who disagree with me but I hope that those same people NEVER have to deal with the murder of one of their own relatives. My heart has been broken all over again at the sad and tragic waste of Anthonys life. My thoughts and prayers are with his family having to sit through the trial and hear things that no one should ever have to.

Steve
"It's a problem of a small minority of white working class people" Pardon!? Working class? "they have a grudge against those with more money" I fail to see what "class" you are, has anything to do with racism!! Unfotunately you will find racist people from every class and background in this country. Seems to me Jane you have another agenda here... "class-ism" However, I do hope the Walker family can live their life again. How that woman forgives her sons killers beats me, but she has a wonderful faith to help her do that

Laura
It's suprising how people so young can committ such a horrendous crime. Condolances to the Walkers.

Marc
I am lost for words regarding this horrific and pointless attack. God bless anthony's family and all effected by this senseless act. What posseses people to do things like this? Rest in peace Anthony.

jon
I think that Liverpool has a lot less ethnic minorities then other big cities within the UK, and so there doesn't seem to be huge estates populated by a single ethnic race such as asians, or afro-carribeans as in London and Birmingham. Because of this there isn't as much tension as all races are integrated in both housing and schooling. But there still seems to be an underlining feeling that racism stil exists in the city, allbeit restricted to comments, jokes, and opinions and up until now very limtied violence. This latest tragic event only proves to show there are still pockets of it in our region, but such racist attacks have been extemely limited in Liverpool over the last 15 years, and compared to other cities and regions across England i think we have been a good example for how everyone in a city can get along with each other no matter what the race. Unfortuantely all the good work since events such as the Toxteh riots, has been undone and once again our city is going to be dragged through the dirt because of it.

???????
Rest in Peace Anthony, justice has been done.

lance rock
I recall last year going to watch a football match on TV at another Huyton pub with a cousin, who commented on how extremely racist those in the area could be. Although I had no trouble I was certainly aware of how any "outsider" was regarded with suspicion and I was basically treated with respect due to being there with someone known as a local. Bearing in mind I am a white male who grew up in Walton a working class ditrict of Liverpool. Having lived all over the city including many years in Toxteth what does amaze me is how little true intergration there is, outside of Liverpool 8 / Toxteth you see very few non white faces in a city that I am proud of, with such a warm friendly nature most of the time. I agree with Janes previous post that this particularly aggressive attitude is directed at pretty much anyone outside of their own direct social group. This is not just a Liverpool issue but one that exsists across the UK. Having lived in London for a few years now I have also been exposed to, and had anti white racism directed at me many times now from groups of black youths. Which I feel is also an issue that needs to be addressed. As Anthony's mother said, we must all rid ourselves of this hatred. Peace. x

Anne
I am glad to read that the police are taking these matters seriously. Britain should not tolerate racism in any form. Educating the young and celebrating different cultures, customs etc. is one way of battling this type of crippling behaviour. Two young men will now spend their best years in jail. It's too stupid for words. The more people who are caught and punished the better - sends the message to the young people "Do you want to spend your best years behind bars"?

karla
i feel bad what happened. but people need to start teaching young kids its not about your race, sex, gang or where your from because really we are all the same. people are being miss led and its turning into a big problem

Adam
The attack was just brutal. No sane person would perform an act like this. I believe the consequences of actions like these should be a lot more harsh. Not just a few years, but something they can never live down, amputation, etc. We are supposed to be civiliased, although some argue we are still animals, surely we are evolved enough to go beyond this. Ultimately, envy and jealousy leads to anger, even hate. Let us end our struggles! Rest in peace Anthony.

David Dunne
Don't know what to say as i am shocked! God bless and a prayer is said tonight for you and the families.x

Mark Fuller
Racist bigots are thick uneducated idiots that think the world owes them a favour....There is no need for racism in society today.

Chris
Its got nothing to do with Thatcher - she resigned for 15 years ago! Its the fact that there is a very small, persistent ignorant minority of people in this country who i'm afraid are racist. Thatcher can be blamed for many things but there was racism in this country before her reign and there will continue to be as long as people hold these views.

alison
there certainly is still a problem. it may not be as bad as 20 years ago, but there are still large pockets of racism

jane
This is not a problem just in one area- I now live in Newcastle and heard young girls shouting racist abuse on the bus last week. It's a problem of a small minority of white working class people who believe they have more rights to housing, benefits, jobs etc than people of different backgroundsd, colours etc. It's not just racism- they have a grudge against those with more money, from a different city (Manchester?), who support different football clubs etc. I often wonder if this is the generation whose parents were brought up under Thatchers government to look after number one and forget everyone else. Very sad.

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