Sunderland men guilty of murdering dad Gavin Moon in double knife attack

Two killers are facing life behind bars for the murder of a dad whose body was found at a house more than 24 hours after a double knife attack.

Tuesday, 16th July 2019, 2:36 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th July 2019, 12:36 pm

Luc Barker, 29, and Brian Goldsmith, 47, used "a large knife each" during a "persistent attack" on Gavin Moon, who died, within minutes, from a stab wound to his side which cut through his rib, liver and aorta.

Both men had denied murder but after a trial, lasting more than three weeks, and more than eight hours deliberation, jurors at Newcastle Crown Court found them both guilty.

Mr Justice Morris will sentence the pair at a later date but told them: "The sentence for murder is a life sentence.

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Brian Goldsmith and Luc Barker

"It will be for me, at a subsequent date, to set a minimum term which will be the period of time which you will have to serve before you are considered for release on licence."

Victim impact statements from Mr Moon's grieving family will be read at the next hearing, as well as arguments from prosecution and defence teams about the minimum term each killer should serve.

Neither of the men showed any visible reaction to the guilty verdicts or the warning they now face a mandatory life sentence.

Jurors have heard Mr Moon, 31, who suffered two stab wounds and five incised wounds in the fatal attack, had been living at Barker's flat at Trafalgar Road, Washington, and shortly before lunchtime on January 7 neighbours heard a violent "disturbance" involving three men.

Gavin Moon, 31, who was found dead after he was stabbed inside a flat in Trafalgar Road, Sulgrave, Washington, on Tuesday, January 8, 2019.

Prosecutor Nick Johnson QC told the court: "There was a sound of someone gasping for help, then a person laughing, saying 'don't think someone's going to phone the police, no-one's coming".

The court heard Goldsmith, who inflicted the fatal blow, travelled to Sunderland after the killing but Barker, "who assisted in the attack by slashing" had been seen coming in and out of his home until Mr Moon's body was found inside of it on the afternoon of January 8.

Mr Johnson told jurors in the hours after the attack, nothing seemed "out of the ordinary" about Barker's demeanour by those who saw him.

Mr Johnson said this was "despite the fact he must have been with the body now, in that small flat, for a couple of hours".

A crime scene shot from the Gavin Moon murder case, released by Northumbria Police

The court heard Barker was in the area of the flat the following day.

Mr Johnson added: "During the course of that morning, the defendant Luc Barker was in and about the flat where we know Mr Moon was lying."

Mr Johnson added: "At some point, between the murder and the arrival of the emergency services, some very amateur attempts were made to clean up some ofthe blood."The court heard it was after 2pm on January 8 when a pal, who Barker had taken to the house, rang the emergency services and "implied" the body, which had rigor mortis by that stage, had just been found.

Barker told police some "meat heads" might have attacked Mr Moon – who he said was his 'best friend' - over drugs.

A crime scene shot from the Gavin Moon murder case, released by Northumbria Police

Prosecutors said the violence on Mr Moon started in the living room of the flat, continued into the hallway and then into the kitchen, where he was found dead the next day.

Mr Johnson said it remains unclear why the violence started but it may have been the men "wanted to steal money or drugs or both".

Mr Johnson said Barker admitted turning Mr Moon's trouser pockets inside out after he died and "removing some drugs" and had blood stained cash on him the next day.

The court heard Mr Moon, who had two children, split from his long-term partner in late 2016, which marked a "downturn in his life".

Mr Johnson said by the time of his death, Mr Moon had started taking and dealing drugs in the local area but had confided in friends he "wanted to get out of the drugs business, it was too risky" and had a new relationship.

Barker, of Trafalgar Road, Washington, and Goldsmith, of Wayman Street, Sunderland, have both been remanded in custody.

A crime scene shot from the Gavin Moon murder case, released by Northumbria Police
A crime scene shot from the Gavin Moon murder case, released by Northumbria Police
Brian Goldsmith