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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Wesley Holmes

Boy, 14, who killed man 'was copying scene from comedy film'

A 14-year-old boy who killed a man after slapping him and kicking him in the head said he was copying a scene from a cult 1990s comedy.

The teenager slapped Christopher Molloy eight times in the face as he lay helpless on the ground after being punched by 25-year-old Joseph Byrne on Stanley Road, Bootle, in the early hours of July 12 2022. The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told a jury that he was "copying a thing he saw" in the 1995 movie Friday, in which a character played by stand-up comedian Chris Tucker shouts: "You got knocked the f*** out".

Mr Molloy, 55, was knocked unconscious by Joseph Byrne, of Linacre Road in Litherland, after he was accused of "touching" the 14-year-old boy's girlfriend. After walking briefly away, Joseph's brother Jay Byrne, 26, of Leyland Road, Southport and the boy returned to the scene and kicked the vulnerable security guard in the head. He died of his injuries a week later.

READ MORE: Three admit killing man in early hours gang attack outside shopping centre

All three males admitted manslaughter, but deny murder.

At an ongoing trial at Liverpool Crown Court today, January 13, the boy, now 15, said he did not know the Byrne brothers before the attack on Mr Molloy. He said had been drinking vodka and beer with his friends in nearby Derby Park in the hours leading up to the incident, and was "quite drunk".

He recalled walking into an ongoing argument between the victim and Joseph Byrne on Stanley Street, and Joseph telling him: "Do you want to see a knock-out punch?"

When asked by his counsel, Peter Finnegan QC, why he kicked Mr Molloy as he lay injured, he said: "I don't know. I didn't think. I was just copying what Jay did."

He said it "didn't occur to him" to call an ambulance, adding: "I didn't think he was that injured. I thought he would get up on his own.

"I feel horrible. I think about it every day. I wish I could go back and change it but I can't. I'm disgusted with myself."

Joseph Byrne previously told the court he had given Mr Molloy "a little slap to teach him a lesson" after he groped the girlfriend of the 14-year-old boy. He denied encouraging the youth to attack Mr Molloy, claiming: "No one actually told that kid to do anything. He took it upon himself."

The trial continues.

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