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However the judge said that, by 2009, a probation officer was describing “a positive change in his attitude”.

Violent gang member and racist thug, Michael Barton, was just 17 when he murdered blameless black teenager, Anthony Walker, in a park.

Anthony, 18, was minding his own business in Mc Goldrick Park, Huyton, when he was ambushed and Barton’s cousin, Paul Taylor, 20, drove an ice axe through his skull.

Taylor and Barton, brother of then Manchester City star Joey Barton, who now plays for Burnley, were jailed for life for Anthony’s murder in July 2005.

Viewed as a “high risk” prisoner, he was disciplined for fighting, thieving, making a model gun out of matchsticks and possessing illicit hooch.

Psychologists interviewed him and the judge said: “A blunt summary of their views is that he was a racist thug”.

Describing his life as part of a street gang, he said he had fed his thirst for drugs by robbery, burglary and narcotics dealing, reports the Liverpool Echo.

In a moving statement last year, Anthony’s mother, Dr Gee Walker, pleaded with the court not to cut Barton’s sentence. Prison will not change him, it will only add fuel to the fire”, she said.

Read more: Mum of Anthony Walker: 'Son's racist murder won't drive me from home' Barton was ordered to serve at least 18 years by Mr Justice Leveson who described the murder as “racist thuggery of a type that is poisonous to any civilised society”.

But now, more than 10 years on, senior judge, Mr Justice Mitting, has recognised Barton’s “exceptional progress” in jail by slicing a year off his sentence.

Prison, he said, had brought about “a remarkable transformation in his outlook and conduct”.

When Barton first entered the prison system, his behaviour was predictably atrocious, London’s High Court heard.

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