'Two selfish people took his life': Daughter of murder victim Gavin Moon speaks as two killers jailed for life

Two killers have been jailed for life for the murder of a "much loved" dad whose body was found at a flat more than 24 hours after a double knife attack.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 23 July, 2019, 08:43

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.

The killing took place at Barker's home in Washington in January, where Mr Moon had been staying.

Both men had denied murder but were convicted by a jury after at Newcastle Crown Court, which concluded last week.

Luc Barker and Brian Goldsmith.

Mr Justice Morris said neither of the men had shown any remorse and ordered Barker must serve a minimum of 16 years before he can apply for parole and Goldsmith must serve at least 18 years.

The judge said: "The precise details of what happened inside the flat are known only by Luc Barker and Brian Goldsmith. Nevertheless, it is clear that Gavin Moon was subjected to a persistent attack, starting in the sitting room and ending up with him bleeding and dying in the kitchen."

The judge said the "murderous" attack on Mr Moon was likely to have been "spontaneous" and was not premeditated but it was noted his tracksuit pockets had been emptied after he was fatally injured.

Justice Morris said he was satisfied it was Goldsmith's voice who was heard by neighbours "ridiculing" Mr Moon as he lay dying, telling him "do you think someone's gonna phone the police? No-one's f***** coming."

A cordon was thrown around the flat after Gavin Moon's body was found.

The judge said Barker knowingly leaving Mr Moon's body in the home lying in the flat they shared for more than 24 hours after the attack caused "considerable additional distress" to his grieving family.

Mr Justice Morris added: "Gavin Moon was aged 31 when he died. In recent times, he had led a troubled life but he was a family man, the father of two children, now aged 13 and 9 and close to his mother and father, his sister and two brothers and his nephews and nieces.

"Many members of his family have sat through this trial, patiently and with dignity."

The judge said he had read and heard statements from Mr Moon's relatives about the impact his death has had on them.

Gavin Moon

He said: "They speak eloquently, courageously and movingly, both of the terrible ordeal they had to endure over the days immediately following Gavin Moon's death and of the enduring pain of their loss.

"It is clear Gavin Moon was a much loved father, son and brother."

Mr Moon's sister Louise Moon had described in her statement how having to inform family members of her brother's death in the immediate aftermath will "haunt" her for the rest of her life.

Miss Moon said in her statement the family lost her sibling in the most "horrific" way and they had not known her was lying dead in the flat for over a day and that they were robbed of their chance to say a proper goodbye.

She said: "Our goodbyes had to be said through a pane of glass at the mortuary."

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Miss Moon added: "He was loving and caring and had a great sense of humour.

“He was one of those dads and uncles who would wind the kids up, have them running wild, then drop them off when time for bed.

"It is so sad he won't be around to see the kids growing up.

"We would give anything for Gavin to walk through mam's door, straight to the crisp cupboard for his three bags of crisps and to the fridge for a can of pop.

"Each and every one of us feels like there is a part of us missing."

Mr Moon's daughter, 13, said in her statement she feels "overwhelmed" at the thought he won't be with her for the rest of her life, "just because two selfish people took his life".

The court heard Mr Moon suffered two stab wounds and five incised wounds among a total of 18 injures in the fatal attack.

He 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.

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.

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".

Prosecutor Nick Johnson QC 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.

Jamie Hill QC, defending, said Barker of Trafalgar Road, Washington, who has suffered a brain injury, strokes and has limited verbal comprehension, continues to deny murder.

Mr Hill added: "He simply presents as someone in shock and to some extent in denial about his situation."

Tony Davis, defending Goldsmith, of Wayman Street, Sunderland, said a row about drugs was the "flashpoint" to the trouble starting in the flat that day and it was not a premeditated attack.

Mr Davis said Goldsmith has nursed his mother through a serious illness until her death, which worsened is descent into drugs.

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