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I SAW KICKS TO VICTIM'S HEAD.

Byline: SARAH CHAPMAN

A MAN told a court he saw two teenagers kicking a Liverpool boy to death as if he were ``a football''.

Father-of-twoKevin McLoughlin yesterday told a Chester crown court jury that the sight of 15-year-oldJohnny Delaney being attacked by youths was one of the most horrific things he had ever seen.

Two 16-year- old boys are accused of murdering Johnny in a field in Ellesmere Port because he was a member of the travelling community.

Johnny, who lived with his family at an official council-run travellers' caravan park in Oil Street,Vauxhall,died from serious head injuries on May 28.

He had been visiting friends who were staying at an unofficial travellers' site on playing fields near New Grosvenor Road in Ellesmere Port.

Prosecutor Christopher Vospa QC has told the jury that the two youths on trial were with a group of teenagers on the field and a racist remark is alleged to have been directed at Johnny and his friends, who were walking towards caravans at around 5.30pm.

Local resident Mr McLoughlin was walking his dog with his family when he said he noticed what he thought was a fight between the two groups.

He told the court that Johnny ran off, but appeared to trip over and fall to the ground. Mr McLoughlin said: ``He tried to get up again and he took a look behind him, but that was when he saw the others coming towards him and he curled up in the foetal position with his arms over his head.

``At least three of the group started kicking him, a couple stayed around his legs,but one walked up and kicked him in the back of the head.

``It was like he was trying to kick a football as far as it could go. He was knocked unconscious.''

Mr McLoughlin told the jury he thought a tall youth stamped on Johnny's head four or five times ``like he was trying to bury his head.''

He told the court that,at one point, Johnny appeared to raise his head and one of the youths went back and stamped on him again.

Mr McLoughlin said he stood 20 yards back from the incident because he was concerned about his children but his wife, Emma, shouted at the youths to stop.

He said the youth replied: ``He deserved it,he is only a ******* gippo.''

Mr McLoughlin said he and another neighbour approached Johnny. He said the teenager was unconscious, his breathing was laboured, his pulse was weak and his face was cut.

Johnny was taken to the Countess of Chester hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The two youths on trial, who cannot be identified for legal reasons have both pleaded not guilty to his murder.

(Proceeding)

CAPTION(S):

VICTIM: Johnny Delaney
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 19, 2003
Words:467
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