Mark Denton murder trial: Driver says defendant bragged ‘I’ll do 10 years for him’

Police at the house in Hutton Avenue where Mark Denton suffered fatal injuries
Police at the house in Hutton Avenue where Mark Denton suffered fatal injuries

THE alleged killers of former boxer Mark Denton bragged about going to jail just moments after an axe attack, a court heard.

David Sowerby, who is accused of attacking Mark, 31, first with the weapon at a New Year’s Eve house party, was heard to say “I’ll do 10 years for him,” the jury at Teesside Crown Court was told.

Mark Denton

Mark Denton

Anthony Middleton, who witnesses say also wielded the axe against Mark, is said to have replied: “So will I”.

The alleged exchange was overheard by Callum Vanes, whose Renault Clio the pair got into after the attack.

Mr Vanes, 18, who had helped set up the music at the party in Hutton Avenue, told police that he was about to drive away after fleeing the house when they suddenly jumped in and ordered him to drive.

During the journey to West View, he said they bragged to each other about what they had allegedly done to Mark, who died just after arriving at hospital less than an hour later.

Mark Denton

Mark Denton

Mr Vanes said he heard Sowerby say to his half-brother Middleton: “I told you I would use the axe.”

Middleton, 21, is alleged to have responded: “I know, we done him there.”

Mr Vanes said he also overheard Sowerby, 24, say: “We’ll go in, put our clothes in the wash, get changed and go down town”.

He said Sowerby also said: “We’ll dump the tool”.



Describing their mood, Mr Vanes said they were “buzzing” and added: “They were happy, like rushing. They sounded excited and were talking loudly”.

Mr Vanes was originally arrested on suspicion of being involved but was later released without charge.

He told police he felt intimidated after witnessing the violence against Mark inside the house and said Middleton was holding the foot-long axe in the car.

As Sowerby got into the front passenger seat Mr Vanes said he pointed over the road to a friend of Marks, who he had been at the paty with, and said: “You’re next”.

He said he drove them to Bruntoft Avenue, where they got out and he was in such a state that he nearly crashed on Grange Road and in Jesmond Gardens.

Mr Vanes later identified Sowerby, who he knew by his nickname ‘Dayday’ saying: “He started it”.

He also picked out Middleton and commented: “He joined in the assault”.

Middleton, of Bruntoft Avenue, and Sowerby, of Allerton Close, both Hartlepool, deny murder.

The trial continues.

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Previous reports from the murder trial include:

Alleged killer’s ‘drink and drug binge’

Girlfriend’s tears as she says former boxer was ‘full of cuddles’

DJ says he watched Mark ‘fight for his life’

Accused walked “calmly” away “covered in blood”

Dead man’s brother gives evidence

”Shocking and brutal” attack after row over woman

Brave mum’s tears as she hears of horrific injuries

Murder trial begins