Gavin Moon murder: Knife used in fatal blows to Washington man was big enough to 'kill a bear'

One of knives used in the brutal bloodbath killing of Gavin Moon was capable of “killing a bear.”

By Fiona Thompson
Friday, 19 July, 2019, 15:19

Both Luc Barker and Brian Goldsmith armed themselves with large knives during the attack on the 31-year-old inside a flat in Trafalgar Road, Washington.

Gavin’s body was found by police the next day after a neighbour called 999 relaying they were told by Barker the shocking discovery had just been made.

Gavin Moon, who died in January, after he was stabbed to death.

In truth, Goldsmith and Barker had used the blades to inflict wounds through his rib, liver and aorta the day before, with one hunting knife found at the scene and linked to Barker by DNA evidence, while the other has never been recovered.

In the wake of their terrible actions, Barker stayed elsewhere, Goldsmith boarded a bus at Waterloo Place shortly after the incident, with a series of wounds found on his hands and head when he turned himself in.

Northumbria Police has said the force does not have a problem with knife crime, but works with others educate and carry out stop checks to ensure weapons are not on the streets.

Luc Barker

Detective Chief Inspector John Bent said forensics played a major part in the inquiry.

He added the weapon recovered from the scene was so large “it could kill a bear.”

Life sentences

Luc Barker, 29, and Brian Goldsmith, 47, have been jailed for life for the killing of 31-year-old Gavin Moon in an attack in January.

Blood stains were found on the walls inside the flat in Trafalgar Road, Washington.

Both men denied murder but were convicted by a jury last week after a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

The fatal attack happened at Barker’s home in Washington, where Mr Moon had been staying.

Barker, of Trafalgar Road, Washington, must serve a minimum of 16 years before he can apply for parole.

Goldsmith, of Wayman Street, Sunderland, must serve a minimum of 18 years.

Blood spots were found on the floor of the property.

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Callous murder

After the sentencing Detective Chief Inspector John Bent, of Northumbria Police, said: “This was a callous murder and the sentences reflect the gravity of the offence.

“Barker and Goldsmith insisted their innocence throughout and that was the final insult to Mr Moon’s family, who had to go through the heartache and pain of losing their loved one all over again during the trial.

“With an investigation like this, it’s always difficult for the family of the deceased – but it has been even harder for Mr Moon’s family given one of the defendants, Barker, had been a friend of the victim for some time.

“Throughout the trial whilst insisting his innocence, Barker portrayed himself as a ‘best friend’ of Mr Moon when clearly his actions had been so heartless, leaving the victim inside the flat and not summoning assistance for 24 hours.

“I hope today’s sentencing can give Mr Moon’s family some kind of justice."

One of the knives found at the scene was used in the murder of Gavin Moon.

The killers tried to claim they acted in self defence, both claimed Mr 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.

'Gavin's murder has left a hole in our family'

In a statement released after the pair's conviction, Mr Moon’s family said: “Gavin’s murder has left a hole in our family that cannot be filled.

“The trial of Barker and Goldsmith has been a painful process for our family to go through as we endured details of how Gavin came to die.

“As a family we thank the jury for their verdicts in this case. No sentence can reflect the pain we feel as a family however knowing that justice has been served brings some comfort."

Police on the scene at Trafalgar Road, Washington, in January as part of the murder inquiry.
Officers were met with a distressing scene when they went into the property.
Brian Goldsmith
Search teams in Trafalgar Road as inquiries were carried out into the death of Gavin Moon.