Family’s fear as Mark Denton murderers decide not to appeal

Anthony James Middleton
Anthony James Middleton

TWO brothers caged for 50 years for the ice axe “massacre” of Mark Denton will NOT appeal against the judgement for the horrific crime.

But Mark’s family today said the move does little to ease their “heartache” and fear the “remorseless” pair will launch a bid for freedom in the future.

Mark Denton

Mark Denton

Anthony Middleton, 21, and David Sowerby, 24, were handed life sentences after being convicted of the killing of popular Mark Denton at a New Year’s Eve House party in Hutton Avenue, Hartlepool.

Sowerby was handed a minimum 27 years in prison, while his half-brother will serve at least 23 years.

The pair had 28 days to lodge an appeal against the length of their sentence at Teesside Crown Court – where they were convicted following a lengthy trial.

But the court has confirmed to the Mail that no appeal papers have been submitted within that time period.

Anthony James Middleton

Anthony James Middleton

A spokeswoman for HM Court Service said: “The court has not received any papers from either defendant in the 28 days period give to appeal.”

But she said the murderers could still launch a future appeal bid outside of the allotted time frame if granted permission to do so through the Court of Appeal.

Today, Mark’s distraught parents, Ann, 70. and Brian, 65, of Granville Avenue, Hartlepool,said: “This does nothing to ease our pain or offer any comfort whatsover from our heartache. Nothing they do will ever bring Mark back to us.”

This pair are scum. They have never showed any remorse for their crime and we still think they could appeal in the future.

“The pain they caused is unbearable. We take each day as it comes. They say that time is a healer. But we are pensioners and we can’t see the pain easing in out lifetime.”

Middleton, of Bruntoft Avenue, and Sowerby, of Allerton Close, Hartlepool, killed unarmed sportsman Mark by repeatedly hitting him with an axe in a revenge attack.

High Court judge Mr Justice Green described the murder as a “massacre” and which had brought devastation to his family and friends.

The assault went on for up to six minutes and was a prolonged and planned attack with more than 50 injuries.

Mark was a former English number two amateur middleweight from Hartlepool and was well-known in the town and among boxing circles on Teesside.

His brother Craig Denton is also a known name in the sport.