Mark Denton murder trial: Hartlepool boxer’s attackers would have been ‘saturated’ in his blood

Mark Denton
Mark Denton

A MURDER trial has heard how former boxer Mark Denton’s attackers would have been “saturated” in blood when they fled a house party after carrying out a fatal axe attack.

A trail of Mark’s blood leading from the house in Hutton Avenue, Hartlepool, was found after he was left bleeding to death, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Mark Denton

Mark Denton

The jury also heard that traces of Mark’s blood were found at murder accused Anthony Middleton’s house in Bruntoft Avenue, Hartlepool.

Mark’s DNA was recovered from clothes worn by Middleton even after they had been washed and burned shortly after the fatal attack, an expert said.

Prosecutors claim Middleton, 21, and his co-accused half brother David Sowerby, 24, were attempting to destroy evidence after allegedly attacking him with a camping axe at the party on New Year’s Eve.

Forensic scientist Valerie Tomlinson said there was “extensive blood staining” in the room where Mark was attacked.

Presenting her conclusions to the jury, Ms Tomlinson said: “Mark Denton’s assailants were very heavily blood stained, such that they dripped blood on to the floor as they made their way through the rear rooms and left the premises by the back door.”

The court also heard how heavy blood staining was found in the front passenger seat and on the back seat of a Renault Clio, which the prosecution say was used to drive Middleton and Sowerby away after the attack.

She said areas around the front seat had come into contact with “something very heavily blood stained, in fact saturated with blood.”

The jury was then told that blood matching Mark’s DNA profile was found around the door of Middleton’s flat, on the stairs, in the kitchen and around the washing machine door.

Ms Tomlinson added: “It would appear a person or persons entered Bruntoft Avenue at a time when they were stained with blood that can be attributed to Mark Denton.

“This blood was still wet and such that it transferred to various surfaces as drips and as a result of contact either with blood stained clothing or hands.

“The findings also indicate clothing stained with blood had been burned in the back yard including clothing worn by Anthony Middleton.

“Further clothing stained by blood belonging to Mark Denton had been washed in the washing machine.”

Traces of Mark’s blood were found in the zip of a Superdry jacket belonging to Middleton that police pulled from his washing machine, the court heard.

Other spots were recovered from remnants of clothes taken from the ashes of a fire in the back yard along with some hair which matched Middleton’s DNA profile.

Ms Tomlinson added Sowerby’s DNA was recovered from a blood-stained mobile phone taken from the address in Hutton Avenue.

She also identified a number of clean cuts in the shirt Mark was wearing, on a sofa where he lay bleeding, and in the back door which Ms Tomlinson said could have been caused by an “sharp implement”.

A cover for a Sabre Cut brand axe was also found in the corner of the room where the violence broke out.

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

The trial continues.