THE brother of murder victim Mark Denton said the family are devastated by his brutal killing.
Mark, 31, was pronounced dead in hospital after the fatal incident at a New Year’s Eve party in a house in Hutton Avenue, in Hartlepool.
Craig Denton, 32, who visited the street where his brother was attacked with an ice-axe, said: “We can’t believe it. He was just a great lad and to lose him like this is shocking.”
A 27-year-old man who hosted the party at his grandmother’s former house, which is empty and up for sale, said he saw Mark with what appeared to be “bad cuts” to his head, face, chest and his neck.
The man who held the party said Mark arrived at the party at about 10pm with his girlfriend and a small group of friends.
He said: “There was a group of lads who had been there for a while and when Mark and his friends came in it was a bit rowdy, a bit of tension between the two groups. There were maybe 30-odd people in the house.
“I went to the toilet and, it must have been five minutes later I came down to see all these people streaming out. I was saying, ‘what’s happening, what’s happening?’ but everyone was just getting out of there.
“Someone said, ‘call the police, it’s a blood bath in there.’ “I walked in the room. There was blood everywhere.
“There were two girls trying to tend to his wounds. One was his girlfriend, she was distraught. He must still have been conscious because he moved, he laid his forehead on the ground and went on his knees. The neck wound seemed to be the worst.
“The police were there in a minutes and the ambulance a bit longer. The police just took everybody out of there. It was horrible.”
The man said he didn’t know Mark Denton well, but had been on good terms with him. “He always seemed quite moral to me. He would stop anyone bullying anyone, things like that. He had a good heart. He certainly had a lot of friends.
“I’m in shock, but others who were actually there at the time of the attack were worse, the lad doing the music for example was crying.”
A 17-year-old male, a 23-year-old man and another man in his 20s have been arrested, all on suspicion of murder.
Pathologists carried out a post mortem examination on tragic Mark’s body which found that a single blow caused his death, despite him having a number of other injuries.
Eye witnesses at the party say the weapon used in the killing was a type of ice-axe, but police are unable to confirm that at this stage.
Detective Chief Inspector Ann-Marie Salwey is leading the murder probe and has set up a major incident room.
Anyone with information should telephone (01642) 302198 or the non-emergency number 101.