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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Adam Everett

Killer says 'I'm done' and refuses to continue giving evidence to murder trial

A killer has refused to continue giving evidence to a murder trial.

Joseph Byrne is currently on trial accused of murdering Christopher Molloy during an attack near to Bootle Strand in the early hours of July 12 last year. The 25-year-old, of Linacre Road in Litherland, was the first of three defendants called to give evidence from the witness box on Wednesday.

He first answered questions from his own counsel and that of his older brother Jay Byrne and a 14-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, whom he has been in the dock with. But midway through prosecutor Gordon Cole KC's cross-examination, he told Liverpool Crown Court that he was "done" and "would not answer any more questions".

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Judge Neil Flewitt KC adjourned the case for the day following this exchange. And Byrne declined to leave the dock and continue his questioning today, Thursday.

The judge said to John Jones KC, defending, before the jury this afternoon: "Mr Jones, Joseph Byrne has not returned to the witness box to continue to give evidence. He has been invited to do so, and has declined that invitation.

"With my permission, you have had an opportunity discuss that with him. Have you also advised him if he chooses not return to the witness box to continue to answer questions, the jury may draw such inferences from that decision?"

Mr Jones responded "I have". The judge then asked him: "Are you in a position to present any further evidence on his behalf?"

The barrister replied: "No. Therefore, I formally close the case on behalf of Joseph Byrne."

Byrne said yesterday afternoon during Mr Cole's cross-examination: "I'm done here. I've got nothing left to say, you're just trying to make me slip up.

"I won't calm down lad. I'm done here.

"I'm sorry the man's died, I really am. But I didn't mean for that to happen. I'm done here. I'm done.

"I just want to go down. I'm done for the day, and I won't answer any more questions."

Jurors previously heard that Joseph Byrne punched the 55-year-old victim to the ground at the junction of Stanley Road and Strand Road, causing him to fall backwards and hit his head. This came after Mr Molloy had been accused of "touching" the youth's girlfriend.

The teenager then repeatedly slapped the unconscious security guard before the two attackers walked away from the scene and fist bumped. But the boy and 26-year-old Jay Byrne, of Leyland Road in Southport, then returned to the stricken man and kicked him in the head.

Mr Molloy died in hospital as a result of his injuries a week later on July 19 2022. Both Byrne brothers and the 14-year-old have admitted manslaughter, but deny murder.

The trial continues.

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