Gavin Moon murder: Pals who knifed drug dealer to death went on to take drugs in moment after killing

The two men who stabbed their friend to death in a disturbance sparked by drugs went on to help themselves to his stash as his body lay in the flat.

Friday, 19th July 2019, 14:43 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd July 2019, 08:37 am

Gavin Moon, who had turned to drug dealing after falling on difficult times, was murdered by friend Luc Barker, 29, and Brian Goldsmith, 47, on Monday, January 7, in the flat Gavin and Barker were living in.

After each using a knife to attack 31-year-old Gavin, they turned out his pockets and tried to clear up the blood from the attack, which happened in the lounge and kitchen of the flat in Trafalgar Road, Sulgrave, Washington.

Luc Barker and Brian Goldsmith.

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While their pal lay dead, evidence showed Barker and Goldsmith went on to take cocaine before they left, with Barker staying elsewhere and Goldsmith catching a bus.

When a call the next day led police to the scene, Barker claimed three masked men carrying machetes were responsible.

But when he refused to hand over his mobile and clothes to help inquiries, suspicions became stronger and detectives arrested him, with their investigation sparking a search for Goldsmith.

Police say Gavin Moon was "much-loved" by his family.

He handed himself in at Southwick Police Station, with both sticking by the lie about the raiders, while police gathered evidence to piece together the reality of what had happened.

Witnesses told the trial they heard a man shouting "thieving scumbag", during a disturbance at lunchtime on the Monday.

Detective Chief Detective John Bent, of Northumbria Police, said the pair were “callous and selfish” in their actions.

He added: “We didn’t didn’t get hold of Goldsmith for quite some time, but it became abundantly clear they had smoked what looked like crack cocaine having killed Gavin in the flat.

Detective Chief Inspector John Bent.

“In evidence, prosecutor Nick Johnson QC indicated to the fact that on the broken coffee table which was smashed during the disturbance, a credit card and cocaine was used.

“It indicated after they had killed him, they inhaled or smoked it before leaving the property.”

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.

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.

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."

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."