What Connor Brown's friends told court they saw happen on the night Sunderland teenager was killed
Sunderland teenager Connor Brown stepped in to stop knife-wielding defendant who was shouting ‘I’ll stab any one of yous’, witness tells murder trial.
The 18-year-old was stabbed five times and sadly died just over one hour later in hospital in the early hours of Sunday, February 24.
Leighton Barrass and Ally Gordon, both 20, have denied murdering the Farringdon teenager who was enjoying a night out with friends.
At the second day of the murder trial at Newcastle Crown Court, jurors heard from two of Connor’s friends who described what they saw on the night the GP surgery receptionist was killed.
Recap of what was said at Newcastle Crown Court:
Defendants tried to sell witnesses drugs
Both Stephen Nunn and Dominic Moan, who were in the witness box on Thursday, November 14, told jurors they had been offered drugs.
Liam Walker, defending Barrass, asked if Stephen if he went into the alley to buy drugs as it is a well-known place to buy drugs in the city.
Stephen told the court he wasn't aware that people sold drugs there because there was loads of CCTV cameras.
He added that he 'keeps himself clean' and only handed over money as Barrass has asked for change.
“We were just talking and Leighton said he had pills but then asked about getting some change,” said Stephen.
“So I have him a £10 note and he gave me £5 back.
“We were going back and forward he was going through his pockets.
“He starts pulling out these pills - they’re not pills that I’ve ever seen before.”
While Dominic said before Barrass and Gordon had approached Stephen, Barrass had come up to him to offer him drugs.
He said Leighton Barrass had approached him and asked if he wanted four pills for £20. When he declined Gordon walked over and Dominic says he changed to topic of conversation before leaving.
In a police interview recording which was shown in court, Stephen described Barrass as being ‘off his head’ and said he seemed ‘wired’ when he was trying to sell him the drugs.
He went on to tell detectives that Barrass began getting ‘rowdy’ and was ‘swearing’ before stepping towards him when he asked for his money back.
He told the police he had been speaking to Gordon and having ‘a bit of craic with him but that both Gordon and Barrass seemed ‘high or drunk’.
In his police interview Dominic said he heard Barrass shouting that ‘he would stab anyone of yous.’
When asked about Barrass’s threat, Dominic said: “He appeared like he wasn’t messing about. He seemed angry.”
Punches were thrown in altercation before the stabbing
In his police interview, Stephen said: “I pushed him because I felt threatened by the way he was going on towards me.”
He told police because of the condition Barrass was in he made Stephen under ‘some sort of threat.’
Stephen told police that he hit Barrass to defend himself. When questioned he says he can only remember hitting Barrass once.
Dominic told detectives he saw Stephen Nunn ‘getting stuck into’ Leighton Barrass.
He went up to Stephen and asked what’s going on and Stephen said Barrass had stolen £10 from him.
Dominic said: “I said he needs the £10 more than you.”
Later in his police interview he says he didn’t see any punches thrown but heard two or three ‘smacking’ sounds – which he believed was Stephen punching Barrass.
‘He’s got a knife’
Stephen told police that after his altercation with Barrass, who had ran from the scene, he had turned to walk back to Gatsby’s.
But at that point Barrass returned to the alleyway.
In police interview Stephen Nunn said: “I turned around and I was walking towards Gatsby’s and I heard someone shout ‘he’s got a knife’.
Stephen told detectives he never actually saw a knife at that point.
In his police interview Dominic said: “I heard [Barrass] come back and shouting “I’ll f****** stab any one of yous”.
“I can see this thing sparking in his hand... it was a knife.”
Connor was left covered in blood
Dominic told police detectives in interview that Connor stepped in and punched Barrass twice when he was making threats with the knife.
He said Barrass fell back slightly but swung his arm out and hit Connor in the left side of his torso.
Dominic told police he saw the colour drain from Connor’s face and his friend told Connor he’d been stabbed and there was blood on his t-shirt.
He said it appeared as though Connor had an ‘adrenaline rush’ and started throwing punches at Barrass before his legs ‘stopped working’ and both Connor and Barrass fell to the floor.
When Dominic pulled Connor to his feet and Dominic said he had Connor’s blood on his hands. He said he moved Connor out the way but the 18-year-old took two steps before he fell.
Dominic said the blood was ‘just instant’.
Stephen told the court he hadn’t seen much of the altercation but had seen what he believes was the initial stab.
After the incident, Stephen told the court he saw Connor. He said: “As he got closer, I started to see a bit of blood on his top. He was wearing white so it was easy to notice. He fell face forward.
“I froze for half a second. I wanted to stay with him because he’s my mate but I remember I got the bouncer.”