Mark Denton murderer was ‘a good kid’ insists gran

Anthony Middleton when he was younger

Anthony Middleton when he was younger

SOWERBY and Middleton both had troubled pasts before they went on to become brutal murderers of boxer Mark Denton.

Sowerby had a host of previous convictions for violent behaviour before the attack, which was often carried out with others the trial heard.

When he was just 13 he appeared in court for assault and just a year later he was up in court again after he took part in a violent robbery of a shopkeeper with two other people.

He attacked another shopkeeper with a fishing rod when he was just 16 and was dealt with for affray.

Sowerby with others punched and kicked a man several times to the head in February 2009 and was dealt with for actual bodily harm.

In 2012 he was tasered after he threatened police with a sword during a domestic incident.

After being involved in the vicious attack on Mark he handed himself into police along with his brother, but gave no comment during hours of police questioning.

Middleton had some minor offences on his record and made some admissions during his police interview, although he said he lied during his trial to protect his brother.

Anthony’s paternal grandmother June Cornish said the two killers shared the same mother, the late Tracey Brogden, a known drug addict.

But they had different fathers, with Anthony’s dad being June’s son Anthony Middleton Snr, and David’s dad being Bobby Sowerby.

Married June, aged 66, said she was aware that even as a young child, Anthony had to keep his mam on the “straight and narrow” and had to remove money from her possession so that she would not go and spend it on drugs.

She said: “He was a good kid. His mam was a drug addict and they lived with their other nana for a while.

“Anthony had always tried to keep his mam on the straight and narrow.

“He used to have to take his mam’s money off her so she wouldn’t buy drugs and make sure she was looked after.

“He had to keep an eye on her, even as a bairn.

“He was a good lad and was really protective of her.”

June said that despite his unconventional upbringing Anthony was a quiet child and was always polite and well-mannered.

She said: “Our Anthony has never been in prison or anything like that but I know David had previously spent time in prison.”

The retired cleaner from St Ann’s court, in the Mainsforth Terrace area of Hartlepool, said: “You can bring your bairns up as best you can but you never know how they are going to turn out. It doesn’t matter how well you bring them up.

“At the end of the day this is nothing to do with us.

“We feel horrendous for the family of Mark Denton because at the end of the day they have lost a brother and a son. Our deepest sympathy goes to his family.”




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