Joey Barton’s racist killer brother has been paroled from prison and could be free as early as next month.
Michael Barton was jailed for 18 years in 2006 for his role in the sickening ice pick killing of black 18-year-old Anthony Walker.
In February, Barton, 33, was transferred to HMP Thorncross, an open prison in Cheshire.
The parole board announced its decision today following an oral hearing earlier this month.
Barton has now been told he will be freed and could walk the streets again in October.
A Parole Board spokesman said: ‘We can confirm that a Parole Board panel has directed that Michael Barton be released following an oral hearing.
Michael Barton (left) m*rdered Anthony Walker, 18, (right) in Huyton in 2005 with cousin Paul Taylor, 20, and will have a parole hearing just days before the 15th anniversary of the m*rder.
‘The parole board’s decisions focus entirely on what risk the prisoner may represent to the public on release and whether that risk is manageable in the community.
‘A panel will carefully consider a wide range of evidence, including details of the actual offence, and any evidence of a change in behaviour, as well as the harm and impact on victims of the offence.
Members read and digest hundreds of pages of evidence and reports leading up to the oral hearing.
‘Witnesses such as probation officers, psychiatrists and psychologists, officials supervising the offender in prison and personal statements from the victim may be given at the hearing.
‘It is standard during hearings to conduct lengthy questioning of prisoners and witnesses, often lasting a full day or more. Parole reviews are conducted thoroughly and with great care. Public safety is our top priority.
‘Parole reviews are carried out thoroughly and with great care. Public safety is our top priority.’
Joey (pictured this month) asked his brother to turn himself in as a result of the crime.
Barton’s release is subject to several strict conditions.
The killer presented evidence supporting his parole bid and is believed to have emphasized his exemplary behavior and progress in prison.
A written summary of the judgment said: ‘Evidence was presented at the hearing relating to Mr Barton’s progress and custodial conduct during this sentence.
‘He had started approved programs to deal with his decision-making and had completed two years on a system designed to help people cope with drug misuse.
‘Mr Barton had also completed work on victim awareness and was engaged in a system designed and supported by psychologists to help people recognize and deal with their problems.
‘There were no behavioral concerns over a number of years and Mr Barton achieved trusted roles in prison.
‘It was considered that Mr Barton had overcome past concerns about racist attitudes through his improved level of maturity and being in prison with a diverse group of people.’
The report added: ‘The panel was told that Mr Barton made good use of his time in an open prison, which included testing in the community through several periods of temporary release on licence.
Anthony’s mother Jay Walker said the decision to grant parole left her feeling ‘betrayed’.
‘No significant concerns were raised and in a report to the panel Mr Barton’s probation officer supported his release.’
It concluded: ‘Having considered the circumstances of his offence, his progress while in custody and the evidence presented at the hearing, the panel was satisfied that Mr Barton was fit for release.’
Strict license conditions include exclusion zones, regular drug testing, wearing of electronic tags and curfews.
Barton was 17 when he and his cousin Paul Taylor, then 20, ambushed 18-year-old Anthony on July 29, 2005, after racially abusing him at a bus stop.
Taylor drove an ice ax through Anthony’s skull in a park in Huyton, Merseyside, and the killers fled to Amsterdam.
Barton was found guilty of mansl*ughter at Preston Crown Court this year and was jailed for a minimum of 17 years and eight months, while Taylor pleaded guilty to mansl*ughter and was jailed for a minimum of 23 years and eight months. It was told.
At sentencing Barton was told he was ‘poisonous to any civilized society’.
But in 2016 it was revealed that Barton’s tariff was reduced from 18 to 16 after he became a charity worker in prison.
The decision left Anthony’s mother, Dr G Walker, feeling ‘betrayed’.
Dr Walker has said: ‘Our justice system is the laughing stock of the world. Life definitely doesn’t mean life.
‘But I choose to forgive because living a life of hate is so destructive.’
He previously said: ‘They promised me 18 years, for every year my son won.
‘If the justice system makes a promise and cannot fulfill it, what hope is there for us?
“When the judge gives a life sentence, we are the ones who ask ‘what?’, or ‘how?’
‘We wonder what he would have been like, or how he would have turned out. We wonder what he might be doing now.
‘We are the ones left in this abyss of pain and wonder.’
Reducing Barton’s original tariff, Mr Justice Mitting said the killer’s ‘remarkable’ turnaround in prison satisfied the ‘high threshold’ for time served.
The judge noted that the post-conviction assessment concluded that Barton was a ‘racist thug’, and that ‘violence was routinely carried out by him and his fellow gang members.
But he claimed that Barton had shown a ‘transformation from a racist thug to a sensible realistic young man’ while in custody.
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