What happened to Anthony Walker? New BBC drama documents life of Liverpool student murdered in racist attack

Killers Michael Barton and Paul Taylor fled to Amsterdam following the murder

Tuesday, 28th July 2020, 2:10 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th July 2020, 3:08 pm
Anthony Walker is played by Toheeb Jimoh (BBC)

Anthony, a drama exploring how Anthony Walker’s life could have panned out if he hadn’t been murdered, aired on Monday night.

The programme has been described by Walker’s mother, Gee Walker, as “part of Anthony's legacy - to honour him".

"It's one of the most painful things I've done since losing Anthony, but I think it was important for the story to be told,” she said.

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Walker was the victim of a senseless, racist murder in 2005 that shocked the nation.

What happened to Anthony Walker?

Anthony Walker, an 18-year-old student from Liverpool, was murdered by Michael Barton and Paul Taylor in 2005.

In an unprovoked attack, Walker was chased from a bus stop and bludgeoned to death with an ice axe after receiving racial abuse from Michael Barton.

Taylor lodged the ice axe in his brain causing brain death.

Michael Barton and Paul Taylor fled to Amsterdam following the attack, but returned to the country when Barton’s brother, footballer Joey Barton, appealed for their return.

The duo were sentenced to life in prison in 2005 with minimum terms of 23 years and eight months for Taylor, and 17 years and eight months for Barton.

Lord Justice Leveson described the attack as a "terrifying ambush" and a "racist attack of a type poisonous to any civilised society"

The legacy of Anthony Walker

Gee Walker approached writer Jimmy McGovern with the idea of making a series exploring "Anthony's unfilled dreams, his potentials and the many lives he would have impacted on".

Speaking to BBC in 2015 Gee Walker said: "He wanted to be a judge, he wanted to be an actor, he wanted to be a sports star.”

"I'll never get to see what his children will be like. All I know is that I miss him and it should never have happened.”

The Anthony Walker Foundation was launched in 2006 with the aim of “working to tackle racism, hate crime and discrimination by providing educational opportunities, victim support services and by promoting equity and inclusion for all".

The foundation’s vision “is one of a global society where race, religion and ethnicity do not label any person or put them at risk; where racial intolerance/violence is unacceptable and cultural diversity is embraced.”

The Crown Prosecution Service run a legal scholarship in Walker’s name open to applicants of a black or ethnic minority background.

Where can I watch the show?

BBC aired Anthony on July 27 at 8.30pm.

You can catch up with Anthony on BBC iPlayer.