Connor Brown murder: Footage shows Leighton Barrass flashing knife in front of pals in lead up to Sunderland killing

He said he bought it for a fishing trip before later claiming he found it in the street.

Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 4:11 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 3:31 pm

But CCTV released by Northumbria Police in the wake of Leighton Barrass’s conviction for murder shows just how keen he was to flash his killer knife in front of pals in the lead up to the tragic loss of Connor Brown.

In the day ahead, he was seen with it outside Grindon Club and in the bar’s hallway, where cameras caught him take it out his pocket, flick the blade and wave it around in front of his fellow drinkers, while he had earlier shown it off in the Grey Hen in South Shields.

Barrass, who knew his co-accused Ally Gordon through school, said at that point he had been “a bit drunk and a bit stupid” and had taken Xanax, also known as Alprazolam, an anti-anxiety drug not available in the UK.

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An image taken from a still of CCTV from Grindon Club released by Northumbria Police in the wake of the trial.

During his trial, the 20-year-old, of Hartside Square, Hylton Lane Estate, made a series of claims to Newcastle Crown Court about the weapon, which had the words “Joker, Why so serious” on it – similar blades can be ordered online for as little as £6.

He told the jury he bought it that day, Saturday, February 23, ahead of a fishing trip that never transpired.

Then in a letter he sent to former girlfriend Lydia Swan while on remand in HMP Durham, he said he found it on Nookside Bank – he told the court he could not remember penning the note.

Leighton Barrass.

But however it fell into his hands, it was proved to be the weapon which ended the life of popular GP surgery receptionist Connor.

Reporting restrictions were put in place during the trial to delay any mention of that offence ahead of the jury’s deliberation over the charge relating to Connor’s death.

Forensic scientist and DNA expert John Newell told jurors he and his team found the two main profiles on it were Barrrass and Connor, with checks definitively saying it had been used to cause injury to Connor.

CCTV footage from inside Grindon Club, released by Northumbria Police, shows Leighton Barrass with the knife in the day before the early hours attack on Connor Brown. Officers were able to zoom in on the clips to show the moment in more detail.
Leighton Barrass was captured on CCTV with the knife outside Grindon Club, here during the afternoon before the death of Connor Brown.