Connor Brown murder: Mum says Sunderland teen killers "ruined not only our lives, but their own as well"

The mother of Connor Brown has spoken of the “pain and suffering” caused by the killers who took her boy's life.

Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 5:48 pm

On the steps of Newcastle Crown Court, just minutes after Leighton Barrass and Ally Gordon were convicted of causing the death of the 18-year-old Sunderland fan, Tanya Brown read a statement on behalf of her and his dad Simon.

While she spoke of their heartache, she also touched on the response from the city’s community in the wake of the tragedy and said it is hoped lessons could be learned about the danger of carrying knives from the loss of her “wonderful son.”

Boxer Connor, from Farringdon, was stabbed five times by Barrass, 20, of Hartside Square, Hylton Lane Estate, in an alley off Park Lane, in the early hours of Sunday, February 24.

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Connor Brown's family speak to the media outside of Newcastle Crown Court

Today, Wednesday, December 11, Barrass was found guilty of his murder following a three-week trial, while his friend Ally Gordon, of Polmuir Road, Plains Farm, was found guilty of manslaughter after wading in by kicking Connor while the pair fought on the ground.

It can now be reported Barrass had previously admitted possessing a knife, while Gordon was also found guilty of the same offence after a knife was found on him when he fled to Scotland in the wake of the death.

As the verdicts were read, there were tears and gasps, while Connor’s family and friends hugged as the court hearing came to a close.

Barrass and Gordon will be sentenced from 10am tomorrow, Thursday, December 12.

Leighton Barrass and Ally Gordon.

In their statement, the Browns said: “Connor was the most wonderful son that any parents could have wished for.

“He lit up every room he walked in to, his smile was infectious and he was loved by so many people.

“Over the last four weeks, instead of looking forward to Christmas as a family, we have been sat in a courtroom forced to re-live the events of that tragic night which saw Connor cruelly taken away from us.

“The two defendants have shown little remorse for their actions, and while their conviction today brings some comfort to us knowing that justice has been served, there are no winners.

Connor Brown was just 18 when he was stabbed to death.

“Nothing can bring Connor back, and that is the sobering reality that we face.

“The last 10 months have been so difficult for everybody – for the family, for Connor’s friends, his colleagues and everybody who knew him.

“He had so much to live for.

“We cannot put into words the kindness and generosity that the community has shown to our family since Connor’s death.

“The outpouring of emotion shows what a special person Connor truly was and has reminded us all that Sunderland does have a heart.

“We stand here today because of the stupidity of two people.

“Their decisions that night have ruined not only our lives, but their own as well.

“They have caused pain and suffering to so many.

“We hope that if any lessons can be learnt from Connor’s death, it’s that there can never a good reason for carrying a knife – under any circumstances.”

She added the family has now asked for their privacy to be respected “as we continue to grieve Connor.”