Connor Brown murder trial: Jury told stabbing was an 'act of calculated revenge'
The trial of two Sunderland men accused of murdering Connor Brown has been told he was stabbed “deliberately and repeatedly” in a revenge attack.
Leighton Barrass and Ally Gordon, both 20, deny the charge following the death of the 18-year-old from Farringdon and are standing trial at Newcastle Crown Court.
On day 11, the case moved to closing speeches, with the judge, Honourable Mr Justice Lavender, telling the jury they have three verdicts to consider – guilty of murder, guilty of manslaughter or not guilty of either.
Prosecutor Jamie Hill QC said Barrass, of Hartside Square, Hylton Lane Estate, reacted after he got into a row with Connor’s friend, who had punched him in the face in the early hours of Sunday, February 24, in an alley off Park Lane.
“He has been humiliated and wanted to save face,” he told the jury.
“We say stabbing Connor Brown was an act of calculated revenge” adding the knife was used “deliberately and repeatedly.”
Mr Hill QC went on to say: “We say there is a mixture of half-truths and lies and the reason he is doing that is because he doesn’t have the courage to admit murder.
“Ally Gordon through all of this was his faithful sidekick – he hasn’t had that loyalty returned to him by Leighton Barrass – and we say Ally Gordon is guilty of murder.”
He also told the jury there was “no legitimate reason” why Barrass had a knife on him and said the accused had been trying to find an “excuse or explanation for why he did that murder” in changing his version of what happened and had turned to “victim-blaming”.
Jonathan Whitfield QC, representing Barrass said: “Leighton Barrass is a fool with a knife, he is guilty of manslaughter, but not murder.”
The barrister said the defendant had hoped to scare off people with the knife and had not considered what would happen if anyone came at him.
Andrew Fisher QC, who is defending Gordon, of Polmuir Road, Plains Farm, said: “Ally Gordon is not guilty of murder, he didn’t encourage or assist Leighton Barrass to stab Connor Brown.”
The case will resume at 2pm on Monday, December 9.