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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Ellen Kirwin & Gemma Bradley

Dad's heartbreaking wish for son that will never come true after brutal murder

A heartbroken dad has shared how he "wished" his son had got married and had children before he was brutally murdered.

Security guard Christopher Molloy, was brutally attacked outside Bootle Strand, at around 12.45am on July 12, last year. Liverpool Crown Court heard the 55-year-old was set upon by brothers Jay and Joseph Byrne and a 15-year-old who left him in a critical condition.

He was rushed to hospital but had suffered internal bleeding and fractures, and his life support was ultimately withdrawn. He died on July 19, 2022, a week after the assault.

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Jay Byrne, of Leyland Road in Southport, Joseph Byrne of Linacre Road in Litherland, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Christopher Molloy, although both were cleared of murder after a trial. But the teenage boy, who can't be named for legal reasons, was convicted of murder by the jury after three hours and 41 minutes of deliberation.

Today, the three killers will be sentenced and Christopher's family have released victim personal statements to be read in court.

The victim's dad, Christopher Molloy Senior, said: "Christopher was a very good son to me, he was always there for me when I needed him most. He helped me with my shopping and washing and changed my bedsheets.

Joseph Byrne admitted the manslaughter of Christopher Molloy (Merseyside Police)

"I have in the last few years had three heart attacks and Christopher was there for me everyday when I was ill in hospital and would also help me with anything I needed. Football was a big part of our life, one thing we both always wished for was that he would get married and have children as he would have made a great father and made me a grandfather.

"I miss him so much. When something happens I always think I will tell Christopher, but then I remember he is no longer with us.

"Christopher’s passing has made life harder for me as things Christopher would help me with I now have to do which is hard due to my health problems. People say I am handling it well but I have to.

"I do now feel very lonely and unsure about what the future holds for me. I miss him deeply.

"I wish I could have been more involved with the court process but because of my health I only managed one day. I know Christopher would understand why I couldn’t get there every day.

"There have been many lives ruined by this, not just Christopher's, and I hope that no other family has to go through this."

Jay Byrne admitted the manslaughter of Christopher Molloy (Merseyside Police)

A jury previously heard that Mr Molloy was attacked after being accused of "touching" the teenage defendant's girlfriend. Jay Byrne was said to have either punched or pushed the stranger, who then fled to the McDonald's opposite and sought assistance from staff.

The victim remained in the doorway of the fast food branch before walking away, at which point he was chased by Joseph Byrne and the then 14-year-old. CCTV footage showed the younger Byrne landing a punch that knocked Mr Molloy to the floor unconscious.

He "cracked his head on the pavement" but the teen was then seen repeatedly slapping him in the face, a total of eight times, as he 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.

The boy returned shortly afterwards alongside 26-year-old Jay Byrne, who kicked a still unconscious Mr Molloy to the head. The youth then delivered a second kick to the head, described as a "particularly ferocious kick, like kicking a football hard".

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