Joey Barton’s racist killer brother granted parole and could be freed from prison next month
Joey Barton’s racist killer brother has been released from prison on parole and could be released next month.
Michael Barton was jailed for 18 years in 2006 for his role in the sickening murder of 18-year-old black Anthony Walker.
In February, Barton, 33, was transferred to HMP Thorn Cross, an open prison in Cheshire.
The Parole Board announced its decision today after a hearing earlier this month.
Barton has now been told that he will be released and will be back on the streets in October.
A Parole Board spokesperson said: “We can confirm that a panel of the Parole Board has ordered the release of Michael Barton following an oral hearing.
Michael Barton (left) murdered Anthony Walker, 18, (right) with cousin Paul Taylor, 20, in Huyton, in 2005, and will be questioned days before the 15th anniversary of the murder
“Probation decisions are solely focused on the risk an inmate could pose to the public if released and whether that risk is manageable in the community.
“A panel will carefully examine a vast array of evidence, including details of the original crime, and any evidence of behavioral change, as well as the harm done and impact the crime has had on the victims.
“Members read and digest hundreds of pages of evidence and reports in the run-up to a hearing.
“During the hearing, witness statements such as probation officers, psychiatrists and psychologists, officers supervising the offender in prison and personal statements from victims may be made.
‘It is common for the prisoner and witnesses to be interrogated at length during the hearing, which often lasts a whole day or more. Parole reviews are conducted thoroughly and with the utmost care. Protecting the public is our number one priority.
“Revisions of paroles are carried out thoroughly and with the utmost care. Protecting the public is our number one priority.’
Joey (pictured this month) told his brother to turn himself in in the wake of the crime
Barton’s release is subject to some strict conditions.
The killer gave evidence for his parole and is said to have highlighted his exemplary behavior and progress in prison.
A written summary of the decision states: ‘Evidence was presented at the hearing regarding Mr Barton’s progress and Mr Barton’s conduct during this sentence.
He had completed accredited programs to address his decision-making and had spent two years working on a regimen designed to support people in tackling drug abuse.
“Mr. Barton had also completed work on victim awareness and was involved in a regimen designed and supported by psychologists to help people recognize and address their problems.
“There had been no behavioral problems for years and Mr Barton had been given a familiar role in prison.
“It was believed that Mr Barton had addressed previous concerns about racist attitudes through his improved maturity and prison life with a diverse group of people.”
The report added: ‘The panel was informed that Mr Barton had made good use of his time in open prison, including community testing through various periods of temporary release.
Gee Walker, Anthony’s mother, said she felt “betrayed” by the decision to grant parole.
“No significant concerns were raised and in a report to the panel, Mr Barton’s probation officer had supported his release.”
It concluded: “After considering the circumstances of his violation, the progress made in custody and the evidence presented at the hearing, the panel was satisfied that Mr Barton was fit for release.”
The strict licensing conditions include an exclusion zone, regular drug testing, wearing an electronic tag and complying with a curfew.
Barton was 17 when he and his cousin Paul Taylor, then 20, ambushed 18-year-old Anthony after they racially insulted him at a bus stop on July 29, 2005.
Taylor drove an ice ax through Anthony’s skull in a park in Huyton, Merseyside, and the killers fled to Amsterdam.
Barton was found guilty of murder and was sentenced to a minimum of 17 years and eight months in prison that year in the Preston District Court, while Taylor admitted murder and must serve at least 23 years and eight months.
At the sentencing, Barton was told he was “toxic to any civilized society.”
But in 2016, it was revealed that Barton’s rate had been reduced from 18 to 16 years after he became a charity worker in prison.
The decision made Anthony’s mother, Dr. Gee Walker, ‘betrayed’.
dr. Walker has said, “Our justice system is the laughing stock of the world. Life certainly does not mean life.
“But I choose to forgive because a life of hate is so destructive.”
She previously said: “They promised me 18 years, one year for every year my son lived.
“If the justice system makes a promise and can’t keep it, what hope is there for us?
“If the judge handed out a life sentence, we’ll be the ones sentenced to a life sentence ‘what?’ or ‘how?’
“We wonder what he would have been like, or what he would have become. We wonder what he would do now.
“We are the ones left with this abyss of pain and wonder.”
By lowering Barton’s original rate, Mr Justice Mitting said the killer’s “remarkable” transformation in prison had met the “high threshold” for the suspension of the sentence.
The judge noted that a summary of a post-sentence evaluation was that Barton was “a racist criminal,” and that “violence was routinely used” by him and his fellow gang members.
But he went on to claim that while in custody, Barton carried out a “transformation of a racist criminal into a sensible realistic young man.”