Mark Denton murder trial: Jury shown replica of axe used to hack former boxer

POPULAR MAN: Mark Denton in his boxing days
POPULAR MAN: Mark Denton in his boxing days

A JURY were shown a replica of an axe used to hack former Hartlepool boxer Mark Denton to death after hearing of the horrific injuries he suffered.

The panel inspected two exact copies of camping axes that were bought by murder suspect Anthony Middleton, 21, from the internet just weeks before he and half-brother David Sowerby, 24, allegedly killed Mark at a New Year’s Eve house party in Hutton Avenue, Hartlepool.

Mark Denton

Mark Denton

Prosecutors allege Mark was murdered after he was attacked with a Sabre Cut camping axe within minutes of him arriving at the party.

The jury were also shown a replica of a smaller camping axe that receipts showed had been delivered to Middleton’s home in Bruntoft Avenue.

The actual murder weapon has never been recovered by police.

Details of more than 50 individual injuries suffered by Mark, 31, were outlined in detail to the jury by Home Office pathologist Dr Jennifer Bolton.

Dr Bolton explained how 17 serious wounds to his head, neck, back, arms and right thigh were consistent with an axe attack.

The fatal wound, which led to massive blood loss, was from a deep cut to Mark’s right arm which severed an important artery.

Dr Bolton said it could have happened if Mark had put his arms up to try to protect his head during the attack.

She said: “Mark Denton died as a result of an incised wound to his right upper arm. The effect of this was extensive, significant and ultimately catastrophic blood loss.”

Computer generated images of Mark’s wounds were shown again to the jury.

Dr Bolton said shocking wounds to his head, which had cut to and damaged his skull, would have been caused by a heavy weapon that was “wielded in a chopping motion” using moderate to severe force.

But asked by Jamie Hill QC, prosecuting, if Mark would have survived them had it not been for the wound to his arm, Dr Bolton said: “Most likely, yes.”

She added: “Most of the injuries to the body were caused by the use of a weapon with a sharp cutting edge.

“All the injuries could have been caused by the use of a single weapon.

“Their appearance suggests the use of a weapon such as a sharp and relatively small axe.”

CCTV footage of Mark in Sainsbury’s in Murray Street about three hours before he went to the party was played to the jury.

The court also viewed footage of defendants Sowerby and Middleton visiting convenience shops in West View and close to the party off Grange Road on New Year’s Eve.

The prosecution case is due to come to a close on Tuesday.

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

The trial continues.