Anthony Walker, 18, died in hospital early yesterday morning from a deep head wound after he was attacked in a park near his home in Huyton, Liverpool, on Friday night. The police are now urgently searching for his assailant.
Just a few minutes before the attack, Mr Walker had been subjected to a "torrent of racial abuse" by a man in a hooded top standing outside a local pub as he waited for a bus with his white girlfriend and a male cousin, both 17.
They tried to walk away but were followed into the park, and were attacked by a gang of three to four men. They then saw Mr Walker being struck with an axe, and ran off to get help. They returned minutes later to find Mr Walker slumped on the ground with the axe embedded in his head. He was taken to a local hospital, and then moved to a specialist neurological unit where he died at 5.25am yesterday.
Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Lawson of Merseyside Police said: "What we are dealing with here is an unprovoked and vicious attack on a young black man which we believe to be racially motivated. This was a despicable act and we're determined to find the people responsible."
The police admitted there had been an upsurge in racist attacks in the area in recent weeks, mirroring a rise in racial and "faith hate" offences across England and Wales after the 7 July bombings.Reuse content