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Gee Walker still haunted by son's murder 11 years on

GRIEVING: Gee Walker, the mother of murdered black teenager Anthony Walker

AS THE anniversary comes closer, the mother of Liverpool teenager Anthony Walker has told how his senseless murder still haunts her family 11 years after the tragedy.

Mrs Walker, who has received multiple awards for her peace campaigns, gave a moving account of the ongoing turmoil faced by the 18-year-old’s relatives.

Speaking at the third Drop the Knife: You Only Live Once roadshow, run with Crimestoppers in Liverpool, her words held everyone spellbound.

Drop the Knife: You Only Live Once – a series of events across the UK is designed to get communities talking about knife crime and how communities can work together to help prevent more lives being lost.

Mrs Walker, founder of the Anthony Walker Foundation, was joined by Jane Kennedy, Merseyside Police & Crime Commissioner, Adrian Tudway, Head of Operations for Crimestoppers, and Keith MacLachlan, Superintendent Merseyside Police.

Anthony was killed in Huyton on 29 July, 2005 in a racially-motivated attack at a bus stop near the Huyton Park pub by McGoldrick Park. An axe was driven into his skull by Paul Taylor, who attacked Anthony with accomplice Michael Barton – brother of soccer star Joey. Both were jailed for life.

Mrs Walker, who was at the Joseph Lappin Centre in Liverpool, named after another stabbed teen, said: “I sit and look at my beautiful grandchildren and I don’t want them to have to cry the tears I’ve cried. Up to the age of seven my grand-daughter Liana used to cry every night because she missed her uncle.

KILLED: Anthony was killed in Huyton on 29 July, 2005 in a racially-motivated attack at a bus stop

“She used to turn down the radio when sad songs came on and I couldn’t understand why. But now she’s able to explain herself and she said: ‘I didn’t like those sad songs because they made me cry, made me think of my uncle.’
“Can you imagine that, aged seven? She’s 11 and she still cries. That makes me sad.”

Talking of her fears that people are becoming desensitised to teen killings, Mrs Walker added: “When I was a child and you heard of killing it was shocking. Now it’s ‘oh, tomorrow there will be another one’. The pain never goes away. I call it PHD, pain in the highest degree. We have to prevent others having this pain.”

She later set up the Gee Walker Foundation to encourage kids to turn their backs on violence. “Our message is getting through,” she said.

At the meeting, the need for continued vigilance was emphasised by Supt MacLachlan, who said knife crime on Merseyside was running at 60 attacks per month.

Anthony was a committed Christian and youth leader at an Evangelical Alliance member church, Grace Family Church, in Liverpool.

In 2008, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced a legal scholarship in Anthony Walker’s memory. The scheme offers one place in CPS Merseyside to a trainee solicitor who wants to become a fully fledged solicitor or barrister.

It is open to any black or ethnic minority person who has secured or intends to apply for a place to study law full-time.

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