Kicked to Death over English Accent; Father's Fury as Youths Escape Murder Charge
A heartbroken father spoke of his anger last night as he claimed his son was kicked to death by three Scottish schoolboys because of his English accent.
And he told how his family was angry that the culprits were not convicted of murder, but admitted a lesser charge of culpable homicide.
Mark Ayton, aged 19, was killed after what began as a lager-fuelled scuffle between teenagers in an affluent commuter suburb on the outskirts of Edinburgh, last November.
After a few moments of senseless violence, Mark was dead. His head had been kicked repeatedly, the imprints of his attackers' bootlaces still on his face.
His father Mr Malcolm Ayton, said: "Mark was a happy-go-lucky lad, a nice person and good fun to be with. He had never been in trouble with the police and it seems his only crime was that he had an English accent.
"He was born in Paisley but because we lived in England for such a long time he picked up the accent. But he was Scottish through and through."
His killers were all only 16 at the time of the killing - the sons of a police chief inspector, a managing director and a senior civil servant.
Evidence emerged during the seven-day trial that the teenagers, whose murder trial was halted when they admitted culpable homicide, shouted anti-English abuse before the fight.
Yesterday, Mr Ayton, a 46-year-old tax inspector, who lives with his wife Jean, aged 47, and other son Paul, aged 21, in Balerno near Edinburgh, spoke of his anger at the legal process which saw the charges reduced. …