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Joey Barton's racist killer brother has been granted parole from prison and could be back on the streets as early as next month.
Murderer Michael Barton was jailed for 18 years in 2006 for taking part in the ice pick stabbing of 18-year-old Anthony Walker.
In February of this year, Barton, 33, was moved to HMP Thorn Cross, which is an open jail in Cheshire – and now the parole board have announced that he will be freed, following a hearing that was held last month. It means that Barton could be a free man by October despite taking part in the sickening crime.
A spokesperson for the Parole Board said: “We can confirm that a panel of the Parole Board has directed the release of Michael Barton following an oral hearing. Parole Board decisions are solely focused on what risk a prisoner could represent to the public if released and whether that risk is manageable in the community.
“A panel will carefully examine a huge range of evidence, including details of the original crime, and any evidence of behaviour change, as well as explore 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 lead-up to an oral hearing.
It continued: “Evidence from witnesses such as probation officers, psychiatrists and psychologists, officials supervising the offender in prison as well as victim personal statements may be given at the hearing.
“It is standard for the prisoner and witnesses to be questioned at length during the hearing which often lasts a full day or more. Parole reviews are undertaken thoroughly and with extreme care. Protecting the public is our number one priority. Parole reviews are undertaken thoroughly and with extreme care. Protecting the public is our number one priority.'
The victim was at home with his girlfriend, Louise Thompson, babysitting his nephew in July 2005. At around 11pm that night, they left the house and walked to the bus stop along with Walker's cousin, Marcus Binns. There Barton, then aged 17, threatened to stab Walker and Binns.
Walker, Thompson and Binns moved to another bus stop, but the cousins followed and ambushed them. Though Binns and Thompson managed to escape, Walker was fatally wounded. The fatal blow being when Taylor pierced his head with an ice axe. He was taken to Whiston Hospital and then to the Walton Centre and he died in the early morning.
Now, 15 years later, Barton could be set for release.
Barton would be set to a number of strict conditions when he is out, such as an exclusion zone, regular drug testing, wearing an electronic tag and adhering to a curfew. He even gave evidence backing his parole request, citing exemplary behaviour and progress in jail.
A written summary of the decision states: “Evidence was presented at the hearing regarding Mr Barton's progress and custodial conduct during this sentence.
“He had undertaken accredited programmes to address his decision-making and had completed two years on a regime designed to support people in addressing drug misuse. Mr Barton had also completed work on victim awareness and had engaged in a regime designed and supported by psychologists to help people recognise and deal with their problems. There had been no behavioural concerns for many years and Mr Barton had secured trusted roles in prison.
“It was considered that Mr Barton had addressed past concerns about racist attitudes through his improved level of maturity and living in prison with a diverse group of people.”
The report added: “The panel was told that Mr Barton had made good use of his time in the open prison, which had included testing in the community via several periods of temporary release on licence.
“No significant concerns had been raised and in a report before the panel, Mr Barton's Probation Officer had supported his release. After considering the circumstances of his offending, the progress made while in custody and the evidence presented at the hearing, the panel was satisfied that Mr Barton was suitable for release”
- Premier League
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