A 13-year-old boy and gang member has been sentenced for the murder of Christopher John Barry at Brickland Court flats, The Broadway, Edmonton on December 14th last year.
As he pleaded guilty to murder and so young, the Judge at the Old Bailey was obliged to impose a sentence of ‘being detained during the course of her majesty’s pleasure.’
The judge recommended that he serves at least 11 years most of which will be served in youth custody.
Mr Barry was 53 years old and known to his friends as ‘Jack’.
The youth stabbed him twice in the chest after a ‘verbal altercation’ turned violent.
The 13 year old was returning to a birthday party, but tried to enter the wrong block and got into an argument with Mr Barry.
The court heard he produced a kitchen knife and shouted ‘What you saying now? What you saying now?’ before stabbing his victim.
He’d texted a friend saying ‘Ok, if anyone asks, I wasn’t there today.’
The court heard he’d been a member of a Wood Green gang since he was just 10.
He’d been excluded from school for being in possession of a knife.
When the incident happened it was the third killing in the area in sixteen days.
‘Jack’ Barry’s partner, Sabrina Finn, who was with Jack when he was attached and died, said in a victim impact statement: ‘I’m back at work now and although I walk, talk and look the same as I did before, inside I’m tired and my heart is broken.’
Judge Stephen Kramer rejected an application from the media that the 13 year old convicted murderer should be identified.
He referred to unexplained ‘exceptional reasons.’
He told the boy:
You are only 13 years old but shortly after 7.30 pm on the evening of December 14 2014, you were carrying a knife in your bag.
You wanted to get into a block of flats but you went to the wrong block with tragic consequences for everyone involved.
Detective Inspector Andy Kelly from the Met Police’s Homicide and Major Crimes Command said:
This is an appallingly tragic incident which demonstrates the dangers of carrying a knife. It shows how in an instant a minor argument over access to a communal door can escalate into a horrendous crime with long-lasting consequences for all the families involved.
This event has robbed the family of Mr Barry of a much loved, partner, and brother.
The Met Police have released the full text of his partner’s victim impact statement:
Jack was a quiet, caring and hardworking man who I have known for four years. Jack’s death has brought untold stress and heartbreak to me, my mum, my sister, to his mother and brothers, his uncle and all his family in Ireland and his many friends.
The friends and family of all those mentioned were also affected by this tragic news. This was apparent at the funeral which 600 people attended. I still find it difficult to believe he is dead and find myself waiting for him to come home from work every evening.
Due to the nature of Jack’s death I had to leave my home and move back to my mum’s flat as I could not stay at Brickland court with the awful memories it will always hold of the evening Jack died. I have only recently moved to a new flat but it is not suitable for my needs as I find it difficult to access with my disability as there are 33 steps and no lift.
I miss my friends, my neighbours and the flat that was my home for the past eight years.
It was a home that Jack and I put a lot of time and money into for the future we thought we would have together.
Jack’s murder had a huge emotional impact on my life. I am now very anxious when going out, particularly when I see groups of young people wearing hoodies in the street. I feel very vulnerable. I also feel anxious about possibly seeing the boy who murdered jack and bumping into him one day.
I am not sleeping well and wake up in the night remembering the awful way Jack died, realising that I’m on my own again and feeling very frightened and lonely.
I am back at work now and although I walk, talk and look the same as before, inside I am tired and my heart is broke. Jack and I had four happy years together ad this young boy has taken that happiness away from me and for that I am very sad and angry as my life will never be the same again.
Jack saved my life last year when I had a serious medical condition which required emergency surgery. Unfortunately I could not do the same for him. Rest in peace Jack.