Connor Brown murder: Teenager's family thanked for 'incredible bravery' as police hope outcome provides 'justice'

The family of Connor Brown have been praised by top detective for their ‘incredible bravery’ as two men are found guilty of killing the Sunderland teenager.

Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 2:11 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 4:27 pm

Leighton Barrass and Ally Gordon, both 20, face a significant time behind bars after they acted as a team to fatally attack Connor Brown following a night out earlier this year.

After a row over £5, Barrass pulled out a knife and stabbed his victim multiple times as his co-accused Gordon kicked and stamped on Connor as he struggled to protect himself.

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Connor's family on the steps of the court. Inset: Connor Brown

Horrifying CCTV footage shows the lead up to the tragic attack which has stolen a grieving family of their wonderful young man.

Detective Superintendent John Bent, of Northumbria Police, said: “This tragedy has devastated Connor’s family, friends, and the wider community of Sunderland.

“The outpouring of grief in the days and weeks after Connor’s death highlighted just how popular he was – he had everything to live for.

Detective Superintendent John Bent, of Northumbria Police. Picture by North News.

“A team of detectives worked tirelessly on this case to bring the two defendants responsible for his murder to justice. The significant investigation even involved travelling to Scotland in the days after the stabbing to locate Gordon, who had left the area, and bring him into custody.

“I would like to thank Connor’s family for their incredible bravery and support over the last 10 months. I sincerely hope today’s outcome provides some justice for them as they continue their grieving process.

“I also hope this case acts as a reminder to the communities we serve that carrying a knife - under any circumstances - is totally unacceptable and we are committed to ensuring action is taken against anybody found to have carried a weapon."

Leighton Barrass (left) has been found guilty of murder and Ally Gordon (right) was found guilty of manslaughter

They read a touching statement paying tribute to their ‘wonderful’ son and say there are “no winners” following this case.

Following the case, Det Supt Bent wanted to reaffirm that Sunderland remained a safe place to live, work and visit.

He added: “I appreciate people will understandably be concerned about the events that night and I want to reiterate that Sunderland remains a safe city.

“Such incidents in the city centre are very rare and we are committed to working with our partners to tackle serious and violent crime.

Connor Brown

“This includes educating people about the dangers of carrying weapons and working with door staff and licensees to identify individuals who are believed to be carrying knives so we can take positive action.”

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness has also set up a Violence Reduction Unit to tackle the root causes of serious and violent crime.

The unit brings together police, six local authorities, health agencies and community representatives to provide a proactive, collaborative approach to tackling violent crime and understanding the causes so long-term preventative action can be put in place.

Footage from the alleyway on the night shows Barrass storming towards Connor and his friends.