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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
National
Adam Everett & Kieren Williams

Boy, 15, storms out of courtroom dock as he's found guilty of beating man to death

A 15-year-old boy stormed out of the dock after he was found guilty at court of beating a man to death.

The youth, who can’t be named for legal reasons, killed 55-year-old security guard Christopher Molloy in a gang attack along with two others.

The attack took place in the early hours of the morning on July 12 last year, near a Burger King in the Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle, Merseyside, after Mr Molloy was accused of “touching” the teenage defendant’s girlfriend.

The teen had been on trial along with Jay Byrne and Joseph Byrne at Liverpool Crown Court.

The Byrne brothers were cleared of murder but a jury found the teen guilty of the charge by a majority verdict after deliberating for just over three and a half hours.

They had earlier admitted manslaughter.

The scene of the attack in Bootle, Merseyside (Liverpool Echo)

Following his conviction the boy stormed out the dock and slammed a door as his family left the court's public gallery.

Before leaving, he was heard shouting: "You fat, ugly p****" after his conviction.

Jay Byrne, 26, put his face in his hands then appeared to try and calm his co-defendant down, saying “Chill bro”.

After the initial altercation in Burger King last year, Jay Byrne was said to have punched or pushed the stranger who fled to the McDonald’s opposite and sought help from staff.

The victim remained in the doorway of the fast food branch for several minutes before walking away and being chased by Joseph Byrne, 25, and the teenager, then 14.

A second confrontation took place and was captured on CCTV, The Liverpool Echo reported.

The Queen Elizabeth Law Courts, home to Liverpool Crown Court where the teenage was found guilty (Liverpool Echo)

It showed the younger Byrne “landing an extremely forceful punch” knocking Mr Molloy to the floor.

He fell backwards and "cracked his head on the pavement", rendering him unconscious, the court heard.

The juvenile was then seen repeatedly slapping him in the face, a total of eight times, as the older man lay helpless on the floor.

Both attackers walked away in the direction of the Natwest bank, being caught on camera fist bumping as they did so.

But the boy returned shortly afterwards with Jay Byrne, who kicked a still unconscious Mr Molloy in the head.

The teen delivered a second kick to the head described as a “particularly ferocious kick, like kicking a football hard".

The teenager and co-accused Joseph Byrne fist-bumped after leaving Mr Molloy unconscious in the street (Liverpool Echo)

A patrolling police car was flagged down by a taxi driver who reported the unconscious man laying in the road and another member of the public had alerted a passing ambulance.

Upon attending him, it became "immediately obvious that Mr Molloy was extremely unwell".

He had a host of cuts, bruising and swelling to his face and head and began vomiting once placed in the back of the ambulance.

After being rushed to the Walton Centre, he underwent emergency surgery shortly before 5am.

But Mr Molloy had suffered internal bleeding and fractures, and his life support was ultimately withdrawn.

He died on July 19 2022, a week after the assault.

Joseph Byrne said on the stand that he had given Mr Molloy "a little slap to teach him a lesson" after he was told that he had been "grabbing the a***" of the teen's girlfriend.

But the killer appeared to become angry with the co-accused while under cross-examination - at one point turning to him and saying "he done it and he knows he did" - before refusing to answer any further questions from the prosecution.

Jay Byrne did not give evidence to the trial, but the boy said from the witness box that he had been imitating a scene from 1995 comedy film Friday - namely when the character played by Chris Tucker shouts "you got knocked the f*** out".

Of the moment he kicked him on the floor, the teen said: "I didn't think. I was just copying what Jay did."

All three will be sentenced back at Liverpool Crown Court on March 16.

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