Five people jailed for life for murder of Michael Toohey in Liverpool - including 14-year-old boy

The teenage father to be died from multiple injuries following the city centre attack in April.

Four men and a 14-year-old boy have been jailed for life for the murder of teenager Michael Toohey in Liverpool city centre last year.

Michael, 18, who had allegedly been pressured into selling drugs for a man referred to as ‘Gerry’, died after a group of men chased him into the Mobiles Junction and internet cafe on Monument Place, off London Road on April 16.

Paramedics found him unresponsive with head and neck injuries after the attack and took him to hospital where he was sadly pronounced dead. A post mortem confirmed he died from multiple injuries.

In November 2022, detectives charged nine people with his murder and they all pleaded not guilty at a trial by jury at Liverpool Crown Court. However, in January, five people were found guilty for Michael’s murder and they were sentenced today (February 24) at the court.

Four men and a boy were found guilty:

  • Kieran Williams, 28 years, of no fixed abode, who was sentenced to life to serve a minimum of 18 years
  • Anthony Williams, 32 years, of Hillbrook Drive, Walton, who was sentenced to life to serve a minimum of 18 years
  • Michael Williams, 25 years, of Carlake Grove, Walton, who was sentenced to life to serve a minimum of 18 years
  • Steven McInerney, 34 years, of no fixed abode, who was sentenced to life to serve a minimum of 18 years.
  • A 14-year-old male, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was also sentenced to life to serve a minimum of eight years in a young offenders institute.

In passing sentence His Honour Judge David Aubrey KC commended the investigation team at Merseyside Police for the highest levels of investigation in light of the complexities of the case.

“He had his whole life ahead of him, he had a baby on the way”

In a victim impact statement read out in court, Michael’s family said: “On 16 April 2022 our young child Michael Toohey was brutally beaten to death.

Michael Toohey. Image: Family handoutMichael Toohey. Image: Family handout
Michael Toohey. Image: Family handout

“We received a phone call and rushed to the scene; there we witnessed the most horrific thing that will haunt us for the rest of our lives. Michael was lying motionless with paramedics doing CPR. Our mother crying desperately and begging for them to save her young child.

“Michael was 18-years-old, the youngest of our family hence we call him our young child. He had his whole life ahead of him, he had a baby on the way. He had started to turn his life around, moved into a new home with his partner and working with his brother in-law. Michael was excited and making future for the arrival of his baby, wanting to leave the past behind him and focus on his future goals.

“Michael was a loving son, a kind-hearted brother who would do anything for his sisters and devoted to his nieces and nephews. The impact which his tragic death has had on our family is something we fear will never ease or end.

“Our mother cries constantly and refuses to leave her bed for days on end, often waking up screaming in the night, she has been diagnosed with anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, due to the things she witnessed that fatal day. We have watched our mother and father deteriorate, from the fun-loving parents and grandparents, into the heartbroken souls they’ve become.”

Mobiles Junction & Internet Cafe, London Road.Mobiles Junction & Internet Cafe, London Road.
Mobiles Junction & Internet Cafe, London Road.

The family added: “We have watched Michael’s partner having to raise their baby boy on her own, as his daddy has been cruelly taken from him. Baby Michael Jr will never have that father and son bond, his daddy will not teach him to ride a bike, his daddy will not take him to football practice, all the things that a father and son should do together.

“That will not now happen, as our own young child was brutally beaten, and his life taken that day. Michael Jr must grow up and one day learn that his daddy was taken from him in the most unlawful way.”

“Cruelly and senselessly taken away”

Detective Chief Inspector Stephen McGrath said: “No parent expects to bury their child at the age of 18, and I can’t begin to imagine what Michael’s mother and father are going through.

“Prior to his death, Michael had taken a bus to meet friends on London Road when he was chased and viciously beaten inside an internet café. Today, five people were sentenced for his murder.

“His life was cruelly and senselessly taken away just as he was about to become a father. Now his child will grow up never knowing him.”