Man, 21, stabbed 15 times in case of mistaken identity

An innocent man was stabbed 15 times as he walked home from a night out in a case of mistaken identity.

Colin McGinty was walking home after a night out with friends in Bootle when he was chased and then brutally s tabbed by gangland killers who'd confused him with someone else.

The 21-year-old was knifed 15 times by two men who caught up with him as he tried to climb over a wall to escape on Marsh Lane, in March 2001.

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The two-decade-old murder sent shockwaves through Merseyside, especially when it quickly emerged how Colin was a wholly innocent man and the killing was a case of mistaken identity.

Liverpool nightclub doormen Michael Brown and Gary Hampton were later found guilty of murder, both men having underworld connections who mistook Colin for one of their gangland enemies.

Today, as Colin's family unveiled the next stage of their growing initiative to tackle knife crime, sister Laura Hughes recalled how the tragedy devastated their family and the community in Crosby where he lived.

Laura Hughes after the Rock N Roll marathon in 2019 in memory of her brother Colin

The 38-year-old told the ECHO: "When you think about what happened in March 2001, it's so shocking.

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"We were born and bred in Blundellsands, and what happened, just didn't happen.

"The word 'incident' just doesn't do it justice.

"Colin was a nice lad with lots of nice friends, he had a good job and social life, but he was horrifically and horrendously attacked and killed for no reason.

"He was never going to survive his injuries.

"It was terrible for my mum and dad, and the ripple effect it had not just on the immediate family, but the generations after that, like my children, who never got to meet their uncle.

Colin McGinty, (left) with his older brother Robert

"So through our campaign, we are looking to keep Colin's name alive and create a positive legacy for him.

"We don't want him to die in vain."

On the night of the attack, Colin was trying to get a taxi home back to Crosby after enjoying a night out in O'Sullivan's Bar in Bootle.

He was with pals when a VW Golf car suddenly pulled up alongside them, four men jumped out and chased after the group, who all split up.

When the case got to court, Hampton and Brown were jailed for life after the incident in 2001 after they denied murder, but were unanimously convicted by a jury.

The trial judge recommended they serve out a minimum term of 18 years each.

Michael Brown (left) and Gary Hampton, killers of Crosby man Colin McGinty, who was murdered in 2001

Next month, Laura, her husband, her brother and brother's friend will run the London Marathon to raise cash for Knife Savers bleed control packs to be place in busy areas across Merseyside.

They reduce bleeding after a knife attack and give the paramedics more time before the victim fatally loses too much blood.

As part of the ongoing #kNOwknifecrime initiative, launched by the family, more than 200 people have run at races in Liverpool, Ireland, Spain, and America to raise cash, with around £20,000 amassed.

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That money has gone towards knife crime awareness projects across Merseyside, Lancashire and Manchester.

To donate to the In Memory of Colin McGinty team fund, please visit here.

Laura, a mum-of-two, from Formby, added: "In 2001, knife crime was a lot more unusual than it is now.

Colin McGinty, from Crosby, was just 21 when he was killed after being chased by four men who detectives believed may have mistaken him for someone else.
Crosby man Colin McGinty died after a knife attack in March 2001 in the Bootle area

"Back then, it didn't really happen, but it's a more common occurrence these days.

"Knife crime has almost become normal behaviour.

"Colin was the life and soul of the party, a good lad.

"He was so far removed from the underworld and gangland backgrounds of his killers – it was like night and day.

"I was just 18 at the time, I think I just managed to somehow get by from a shock perspective.

"Knife crime appears to be more within the chitter chatter of kids now, which is shocking.

"We are trying to change people's mindsets.

"The world is now opening up after the pandemic, and young people seem to have a lot to vent, teenagers who have been stuck inside for months.

"There's an undercurrent, I believe, that something is going to happen."

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