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Christopher Barry murder: Boy, 13, detained for 11 years

Christopher John Barry Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption Christopher "Jack" Barry was pronounced dead at the scene

A 13-year-old boy has been detained for at least 11 years after murdering a man in a row about a party in north London.

The boy, who cannot be named, admitted stabbing 53-year-old Christopher Barry in the chest in The Broadway, Edmonton on 14 December last year.

The Old Bailey heard Mr Barry argued with a group of youths trying to get into a party in his block of flats. He was followed inside and attacked.

The court heard the boy had been in a gang since the age of 10.

'Cowardly and unprovoked'

The boy and his friends had left a 13th birthday party and had returned later but went to the wrong block of flats, the court heard.

When they were trying to access the flats they came across Mr Barry, known as Jack, who refused them entry causing some "pushing and shoving" between them.

Image caption Mr Barry had been returning home when he was stabbed by the 13-year-old boy

The boy followed Mr Barry into the lift and pulled a kitchen knife from his rucksack and said: "What you saying now? What you saying now?" before stabbing him twice.

The Old Bailey was told Mr Barry had not realised he had been injured and returned to his flat where he later collapsed. He was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

The prosecution said the boy had previously been warned about handling knives and described the murder as a "cowardly and unprovoked attack" over a "trivial dispute".

During the hearing Mr Barry's girlfriend, Sabrina Finn, who was with him at the time, said her "heart was broken" following Mr Barry's death and "life would never be the same again".

'Full of remorse'

In a victim impact statement she said: "Jack saved my life last year when I had a serious medical condition which required emergency surgery. I could not do the same for him.

"Due to the nature of Jack's death I had to leave my home. 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."

She said that more than 600 people attended his funeral.

In mitigation, the boy's defence team said he was "full of remorse" and had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, which Judge Stephen Kramer said he had taken into consideration.

The judge refused an application by the press to lift a legal ban on naming the boy, saying there were "exceptional" circumstances.

Following sentencing Det Insp Andy Kelly from Scotland Yard said: "This is an appallingly tragic incident which demonstrates the dangers of carrying a knife. This event has robbed the family of Mr Barry of a much loved partner and brother.

"The Met Police, led by Trident, are actively discouraging people from joining gangs. This, as I said, is a perfect example of why you should not be in a gang, why you are misguided and why you should not carry a knife in public," he added.

Four boys, three aged 14 and one aged 13, were arrested in connection with the stabbing but were later released with no further action.

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