Norfolk

Connor Barrett party murder youths jailed for life

Jesse Quaye and Ayomindy Bile Image copyright Norfolk Police
Image caption Jesse Quaye and Ayomindy Bile must serve a minimum of 15 years for murder

Two teenagers who murdered a man at a 21st birthday party they gatecrashed have been jailed.

Jesse Quaye, 18, and Ayomindy Bile, 15, stabbed Connor Barrett, in Norfolk.

Mr Barrett, 20, died while trying to protect a friend at the private event in Hemsby, on 10 May last year, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Quaye, of Crittens Road, and Bile, of Howard Street North, both of Great Yarmouth, will each serve a minimum of 15 years.

Judge Stephen Holt said the pair, who had denied the charge, had to be sentenced as if they were adults.

Image caption Connor Barrett was described as a "lovely boy" by the family who held the birthday party

Judge Holt said: "It is quite clear Connor Barrett was a much loved young man and the life and soul of many parties - he preferred to talk rather than resort to violence."

Mr Barrett's family and friends would have to live with the tragic events for the rest of their lives, he added.

Quaye, Bile and others had seen details of the party on social media, the court heard.

The killers were also found guilty of actual bodily harm against Ricky Halliday, whom Mr Barrett was trying to defend.

'Knife-carrying culture'

Bile had two previous convictions for street robberies.

He had earlier been arrested for possession of a kitchen knife in a public place and was on bail, the court was told.

Stephen Spence, defending Bile, said: "This was not a premeditated attack but a moment of madness."

Paul Keleher, for Quaye, admitted his client was part of a knife-carrying culture.

"Some young men feel the need to carry a knife - usually out of bravado, sometimes out of a misguided sense it is needed for self defence," he added.

Mr Barrett's family said in a statement after the sentencing: "Connor was a considerate, kind, caring and loving great grandson, grandson, son, brother, nephew and cousin.

"He was also a dedicated and devoted father to his own son.

"His life has been cruelly stolen from him and his family, when he was coming into the prime of his life just a month away from his 21st birthday.

"We accept the sentence but in no way feel that justice will be served, as no length of time will ever help us come to terms with what we have lost."

Image copyright Norfolk police
Image caption The defendants gatecrashed the party in Hemsby, last May

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