Mark Denton murder trial: Party host denies claims an axe was already at house

ATTACK SCENE: Police outside the house in Hutton Avenue
ATTACK SCENE: Police outside the house in Hutton Avenue

THE host of a party where a man was brutally killed has denied claims that a friend had brought an axe to the property.

Dean Shadforth also refuted suggestions that he handled an axe by insisting “certainly not”.

New Year’s Eve party host Dean Shadforth made the comments while giving evidence on the second day of the murder trial of two half-brothers.

David Sowerby and Anthony Middleton deny murdering former amateur boxer Mark Denton with a Sabre Cut camp axe at the party in Hartlepool’s Hutton Avenue.

Mr Shadforth said he did not see the attack as he was at the toilet when he heard a “commotion” and girls screaming.

He added that people were leaving the house as he tried to see what was happening.

A friend said “phone the police” and Mr Shadforth eventually found Mark surrounded by some girls.

The boxer was conscious but looked dazed and “there was a signnificant amount of blood”.

Mr Shadforth said he had met Mark Denton in November and that the former boxer was a guest at party he had thrown on Christmas Day.

He added that around 25-30 people were in the house at the time of the attack, including the suspects, although he did not know the half-brothers.

He said there was “definitely not” any axes at the house before the party started.

Sowerby and Middleton are said to have murdered Mark in revenge after he “laid out” Sowerby at an earlier house party in the town’s Wensleydale Street.

The court heard the pair walked “calmly” away from the scene “covered in blood”.

Sowerby, 24, of Allerton Close, and Middleton, 21, of Bruntoft Avenue, both Hartlepool, deny murder.

The trial, which is expected to last two weeks, continues.

Earlier updates from the trial include:

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