A FORMER boxer’s blood was found in the home of one of the men accused of his axe murder, a court was told.

Blood attributed to Mark Denton – which was still wet – was found at the home of Anthony Middleton, while Mr Denton’s blood was also found on the 21-year-old’s trainer.

Mr Middleton, of Bruntoft Avenue, Hartlepool and his co-accused 24-year-old David Sowerby, of Allerton Close, in the town, both deny Mr Denton’s murder at a New Year’s Eve ‘rave’ party held in Hartlepool.

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Forensic scientist Valerie Tomlinson, a blood staining expert, told the duo’s trial at Teesside Crown Court that Mr Denton’s attackers would have been very heavily blood stained.

She also described how a trail of Mr Denton's blood was found at the murder scene. It had dripped onto the floor and was also found on door surrounds leading to the rear of the property in Hutton Avenue and out of the back door.

The scientist, who outlined her findings in detail to prosecutor Jamie Hill, said a shirt Mr Denton was wearing at the time of the attack would have provided a barrier to blood loss, but not as great as, say perhaps, a coat or a thick jumper.

She also discussed the alleged murder weapon – a camping axe – and said the packaging for it which police recovered from Mr Middleton’s home in Bruntoft Avenue had been handled by both the accused.

It is alleged 31-year-old Mr Denton – once ranked the second best amateur middleweight boxer in the country – was struck to the head and repeatedly to the body with the axe in a pre-planned attack.

He suffered serious wounds to his face, back and shoulders and failed to recover consciousness after going into cardiac arrest while being taken in an ambulance to Middlesbrough’s James Cook University Hospital.

The Crown, which has called up to 30 witnesses who were present at the party, is expected to wrap up its case on Tuesday after which time the defence will begin to outline its evidence to the jury.

The trial, which is expected to last into next week, continues.