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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Adam Everett

Man accused of 'touching' teen killer's girlfriend before being beaten to death

A man was accused of "touching" a teenager killer's girlfriend before he was beaten to death by a gang.

The now 15-year-old boy is currently standing trial at Liverpool Crown Court accused of murdering Christopher Molloy, as are Jay and Joseph Byrne. Jurors heard during the prosecution's opening yesterday that the youth, then aged 14, kicked his stricken victim's head "like a football" after he had been knocked out when the latter Byrne brother, 25, struck him with an "extremely forceful punch".

The 55-year-old then fell backwards and "cracked his head on the pavement", at which point these two attackers walked away and were caught on CCTV fist bumping. They then returned to the scene near to Bootle Strand with 26-year-old Jay Byrne, who also landed a kick to Mr Molloy's head as he lay unconscious in the street.

READ MORE: Boy, 14, kicked man's head 'like a football' in attack near shopping centre

On Thursday afternoon, the jury was played footage of a police interview with a 16-year-old girl who was in the company of the teen on the night in question. Neither can be named for legal reason.

She recalled how she first became aware of Mr Molloy when she was walking to go to the toilet near to Burger King, having been drinking with friends in the area in the early hours of July 12 last year. Under cross-examination, the girl added: "Because of the timing, I was a bit wary.

"I wasn't really sure why he was coming towards me. I was on my own"

She later saw Jay Byrne, of Leyland Road in Southport, punch or push Mr Molloy during this initial confrontation. The stranger was described as being "drunk and unsteady on his feet", and walked away to seek refuge at the nearby McDonald's.

The girl said she had been told he had "touched" the girl whom the juvenile defendant had been going out with. She told officers during her interview 10 days after the incident: "I remember Jay and Joe saying to (the youth), 'are you not going to do anything? That's your girlfriend'.

"I think he was saying sorry. They were saying 'don't be sorry lad, go and do something'.

"They were saying, 'that's supposed to be your bird'. Joe has come back over and everyone's followed - I think (the youth) has only done it to prove himself."

Joseph Byrne, of Linacre Road in Litherland, landed the first blow - knocking him out - during this second altercation near to the junction with Strand Road. The teenage boy then repeatedly slapped the prone Mr Molloy before both walked away briefly - returning with Jay Byrne around 30 seconds later.

He delivered a kick to the unconscious man's head before the youth inflicted another "particularly ferocious kick". A taxi driver subsequently reported the incident to a patrolling police car.

Mr Molloy - who had earlier been drinking in the Wild Rose, a Wetherspoons pub on Strand Road - was rushed to hospital and underwent emergency surgery within hours. But he died a week later on July 19 2022 after his life support was withdrawn.

All three defendants have admitted manslaughter, but deny murder. The trial continues.

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