Boy, 15, yells ‘you fat ugly p****’ at judge and tries to storm out of the dock as jury find him guilty of murder in Merseyside gang attack
- Christopher Molloy, 55, was beaten to death in a gang attack in July last year
- Jay Byrne, 26, Joseph Byrne, 25 and a then-14-year-old were later arrested
- The Byrne brothers were cleared of murder today but admitted to manslaughter
- The teen erupted in a furious outburst as the jury delivered a guilty verdict
A 15-year-old boy shouted ‘you fat ugly p****’ during a furious outburst at a judge as he was found guilty of murder at Liverpool Crown Court today.
The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, beat Christopher Molloy, 55, to death along with a pair of brothers in an early hours ‘gang attack’ in the Bootle area of Merseyside in July.
Jay Byrne, 26, Joseph Byrne, 25, and the boy appeared back before Liverpool Crown Court today where they had been on trial charged with murdering Mr Molloy.
Both the brothers were cleared of murder on Thursday, having previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter. A jury found the boy, 15, guilty via a majority verdict after deliberating for nearly four hours.
Jay Byrne, 26, admitted to manslaughter relating to the death of 55-year-old Christopher Molloy in July last year
Joseph Byrne, 25, also pleaded guilty to manslaughter alongside his older brother. Both were cleared of murder
The boy shouted ‘you fat, ugly p****’ as he was convicted of murder and slammed a door as he stormed out of the dock.
Jay Byrne put his face in his hands then appeared to attempt to calm his co-defendant down, saying: ‘Chill bro.’
All three males will be sentenced back at Liverpool Crown Court on March 16.
Jurors previously heard an initial altercation between the parties erupted near to Burger King close to the Bootle Strand shopping centre at around 12.45am on July 12 last year after Mr Molloy was accused of ‘touching’ the teenage defendant’s girlfriend.
Jay Byrne – of Leyland Road in Southport – was said to have either punched or pushed the stranger, who then fled to the McDonald’s opposite and sought assistance from staff ‘because he was concerned as to what was happening, trying to get help’.
The victim remained in the doorway of the fast food branch for several minutes before walking away, at which point he was chased by Joseph Byrne – of Litherland, Merseyside – and the then 14-year-old.
A second confrontation near to the junction of Stanley Road and Strand Road was captured on CCTV footage which was played to the court.
It showed the younger Byrne ‘landing an extremely forceful punch’ with his right hand, knocking Mr Molloy to the floor.
He fell backwards and is said to have cracked his head on the pavement, rendering him unconscious.
The juvenile was then seen repeatedly slapping him in the face, a total of eight times, as he lay helpless on the floor.
As both attackers walked away, they were caught on camera fist bumping.
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 ‘particularly ferocious’ kick to the head, described compared to ‘kicking a football hard’.
In the aftermath of the callous attack, a patrolling police car was flagged down by a taxi driver who reported there was a man lying unconscious in the road.
Another member of the public had alerted the attentions of a passing ambulance, and it became ‘immediately obvious that Mr Molloy was extremely unwell’, the court heard.
The teenager and two men will all return to Liverpool Crown Court on March 16 for sentencing
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 he appeared to become angry with the youngster 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’.
He also alleged that Joseph Byrne had asked ‘do you want to see a knockout punch?’ before rendering Mr Molloy unconscious.
Of the moment he kicked him on the floor, the teen said: ‘I didn’t think. I was just copying what Jay did.’
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