Gavin Moon murder: 'Dangerous' killers caused immense pain with their 'appalling' actions

The killers of murdered dad Gavin Moon caused immense pain to the 31-year-old’s family with their “appalling” actions, a senior detective has said.

By Ross Robertson
Tuesday, 16 July, 2019, 15:50

Detective Chief Inspector John Bent, of Northumbria Police, today condemned the killers, who left their victim’s body lying in Barker’s flat where he was found 24 hours later.

Crime scene picture released by Northumbria Police

“Our thoughts are of course with Gavin’s family at this difficult time. The last few months have been incredibly difficult for them as they’ve had to come to terms with their loss,” said Detective Chief Inspector Bent.

“On the day in question, Luc Barker and Brian Goldsmith were involved in a heated argument with Gavin.

“This argument then escalated and both defendants used separate knives, one of which inflicted the fatal injury to Gavin Moon, whom they then left lying on the kitchen floor.

“Despite knowing what they had done, neither individual contacted police - and officers were only called to the address on the following day after a neighbour was made aware of Gavin’s injuries.

Gavin Moon

“Their actions have caused a significant amount of pain and suffering to Gavin’s family and their final insult was to insist their innocence throughout this case.

“There can be no question that both Barker and Goldsmith are dangerous individuals who cannot be trusted to live lawfully within our communities. They must now deal with the consequences of their appalling actions.

“I hope today’s convictions bring some form of justice to Gavin’s family although finding any form of closure to such a senseless act will be incredibly difficult. They continue to be offered any support they need from specialist officers.”

Brian Goldsmith and Luc Barker

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Neil Fodor of the Crown Prosecution Service in the North East added: “In the wake of their fatal attack on Gavin Moon, Barker and Goldsmith took calculated steps to ensure that his body was not discovered for more than 24 hours. Despite initially admitting having stabbed Gavin to several witnesses, Goldsmith subsequently claimed to police that he had not been present on the night of the killing.

“By piecing together the comprehensive forensic and CCTV evidence provided by Northumbria Police, the Crown Prosecution Service has systematically dismantled the false narrative provided by each defendant and exposed their crude attempts to evade justice. I sincerely hope that their convictions today provide a measure of comfort to the family of Gavin Moon at this undoubtedly difficult time.”

A court heard Moon was last seen entering a shop on Waterloo Road at around 10.45am on January 7 where he bought a number of items, including a scratch card.

The following day, police were contacted after a neighbour rang 999 claiming he had been told by Barker that Gavin’s body had been found inside the flat.

Officers found the victim with a stab wound to his side which had cut through his rib, liver and aorta.

An investigation was launched, and police initially arrested Barker – who was at the flat when officers arrived – on suspicion of murder.

Detectives then carried out house-to-house enquiries and followed a CCTV trail that placed Barker with Goldsmith on the morning of Gavin’s killing.

Officers also seized footage of Goldsmith boarding a bus at Waterloo Place shortly after the incident, in which he had changed his clothing and continually turned to look out of the vehicle’s rear window whilst drinking a bottle of wine.

Goldsmith, of Wayman Street, Sunderland was subsequently arrested and both he and Barker, of Trafalgar Road, Sunderland, were later charged with murder.

Both denied the charge, stating Moon had reacted angrily after returning home and discovering they had stolen a quantity of drugs that belonged to him.

Goldsmith claimed his actions were in self-defence, while Barker denied seeing a knife.

Following a three-week trial at Newcastle Crown Court, on July 16, both defendants were found guilty of murder.