Connor Brown murder trial: Killers Leighton Barrass and Ally Gordon to learn their fate after jury finds them guilty of stab attack
A jury at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday, Wednesday, December 11, returned a guilty murder verdict on Leighton Barrass, while Ally Gordon was found guilty of manslaughter.
Jurors also found Gordon guilty of a second charge of possessing a knife, after one was found on him following his arrest when he fled to Scotland, while legal restrictions meant it could not be reported Barrass had earlier admitted the same charge.
The 20-year-olds, who were friends from school, did not react as the verdicts were returned following a four-week trial.
Connor’s family spoke after the hearing, paying tribute to the lad who “had so much to live for” while his parents Tanya and Simon added they hoped lessons could be learned about the dangers of carrying a knife.
They also thanked the Sunderland community for the strength of support shown after the loss of their “wonderful son.”
In the wake of the trial, Northumbria Police praised the couple for their "bravery” as the justice system handled the case.
Barrass had armed himself with a flick blade, which had the words ‘Joker, why so serious’ printed on it, as he became involved in a fight with GP receptionist Connor in the early hours of Sunday, February 24, in an alley off Park Lane following a disagreement over £5 with the victim’s friend.
The 18-year-old was stabbed five times, with a wound to his heart proving fatal.
Prosecutor Jamie Hill QC had told the jury he had been stabbed “deliberately and repeatedly" in what had been a “calculated act of revenge.”
Barrass, of Hartside Square, Hylton Lane Estate, had brandished the knife and shouted “I’ll stab any one of you”, telling the court he had hoped to scare people off and claimed Connor had fallen or run onto the weapon.
Gordon, of Polmuir Road, Plains Farm, then kicked Connor as his pal grappled with him on the ground, later getting his grandmother to wash blood off his white trainers after telling her his mate had been attacked.
He had claimed he was trying to help Barrass by kicking Connor away.
The sentencing hearing is expected to begin at 10am.