Mother of Anthony Walker tells of Christian forgiveness for son's killers
The mother of Anthony Walker who brutally murdered in a racially motivated attack, has spoken of her forgiveness for her sons killers, stemming from her Christian faith.
Two men were found guilty yesterday of the racially aggravated murder of Anthony Walker after a confrontation and terrifying chase led to his gruesome, brutal death
Gee Walker, 49, had listened to every harrowing detail of the ambush that left her son, a gifted black A-level student, with an ice axe embedded in his skull.
Newspapers report that she was composed and dignified in her seat at Liverpool Crown Court, at the end of an emotionally charged two-week trial, to hear the jury find Michael Barton, 17, guilty.
Paul Taylor, 20, who admitted swinging the murder weapon, later joined Barton in the dock to hear the judge, Mr Justice Leveson, conduct a 'Newton hearing' ó a trial within a trial ó and conclude that the murder was racially aggravated. The judgment effectively doubled the two men's possible prison tariff.
Within minutes Mrs Walker, a mother of six, emerged from the court arm in arm with two of her four daughters to offer words of compassion to Taylor and Barton: 'Do I forgive them? At the point of death Jesus said, ëI forgive them because they do not know what they do'. I have got to forgive them. I still forgive them.
'It will be difficult but we have no choice but to live on for Anthony. Each of us will take a piece of him and will carry on his life.'
The contrast between the 18-year-old victim, a devout Christian, committed student and talented basketball player who wanted to become a lawyer, and his white racist killers could not have been more stark.
Mrs Walker spoke eloquently about how her Christian faith demanded that she forgive them. But she faltered and the tears fell as she recalled having to say goodbye to her son as he lay in intensive care.
'There is just this massive absence in the house,' she said. 'And we think, ëWhen is this going to end?' I go in the kitchen and still make his tea. We will never get over this. Someone has taken a piece of my heart. How do you mend a broken heart? You cannot.'
One of the hardest things with which to come to terms, said Mrs Walker, a special-needs teacher, is that her son's killers grew up in the same community as him. They all knew each other and Taylor even attended the same school as Dominique, 20, Mr Walker's sister.
'You watched playing in the school playground doing that,' she said. 'They played together. They stood in the same dinner queue.'
Mr Justice Leveson is expected to sentence Taylor and Barton today. Both should get mandatory life sentences.
Three more people will face trial next year in connection with Mr Walker's murder.