Was Anthony Walker the perpetrator of his own misfortune, ie the aggressor that got his comeupance, or an innocent kid killed by a moron carrying an offensive weapon?
A bit of both. As with most youths like these, circumstances, friendships and indeed common enemies tend to dictate your behavior.
Some (like me) grow up to be well rounded adults with proper jobs and a familly etc. However some end up doing time and indeed some end up in the ground. Mostly it's down to luck (or a lack of) rather than anything else. In my days i was exceptionally close to being sent away for an extended holiday (although, not for violence i must mention), obviously my life would have been exceptionally different to the one i have now. However, this was a small turn of fate that seperated the me we have here, from the me with a prison stretch.
I think back of another occasion, it was the night of the Michael Jackson gig in Liverpool, i wasn't one of the fortunate people with tickets so we were walking to get a closer listen. We were just by where Brookside was filmed and were chased by a gang of about 10 lads. All were tooled up with various implements from cricket bats to other objects (it was dark so i can't be more descriptive sorry). However somehow we managed to jump a wall out of sight and made it safely away in the end after passing through some random woodland. I think to how different things could have been that night for example, what would have happend if we'd been caught, neither me or my mate were the violent type and i'd have been in a world of trouble... them other lads could quite easily have been sitting in a cell now due to their actions that night... who knows.
Back then, it was par for the course to be carrying something hard/firm/whatever as a self-defence item. Sometimes it was silly things like Chinese throwing stars, or a pair of nunchuku (sp?), sometimes it was a screwdriver... or even a knife... i was far from being the only person around who took precautions.
There are many many other stories, occasions and circumstances... but, we're digressing from the story actually being discussed in the OP.
Pingu, the victim was not charged as there was no offence in the days leading up to the killing, it was simply a way of life, taking a kicking every now and again was what happened when you walked down the wrong street at the wrong time. I personally was suprised more wasn't made of it when the case was being heard etc. But i was only a bystander reading in the papers and listening to local gossip. As i said above, i had no reason at the time to not believe what i was told... whether it's true or not, i dunno, but i certainly think it was.