Scottish Daily Mail

Boy, 13, admits murder of builder

- By Chris Greenwood and Tom Payne

A BOY of 13 has become one of youngest in Britain ever to admit to murder.

The schoolboy confessed that he stabbed to death a middle aged man who refused to let him and his friends gatecrash a party.

He was among a mob of hooded youths who savagely attacked Christophe­r Barry, 53, in front of his girlfriend. The baby-faced killer had previously been arrested when he was just 11 after apparently being caught with a 5in kitchen knife at school.

He was charged with possessing a blade and cannabis but the case was withdrawn before it reached court.

The shocking murder of builder Mr Barry in Edmonton Green, North London, highlighte­d soaring levels of street violence in the city. Residents said they live in fear of ‘feral’ youths who have turned the streets into a hunting ground and are responsibl­e for a string of attacks and robberies.

Yesterday, the 13-year- old peered over the rail of an Old Bailey dock as he whispered ‘guilty’ in response to the charge of murder.

The boy, who cannot be named because of his age, was wearing a light blue shirt and grey school trousers . He was accompanie­d in court by his parents. Grieving relatives of Mr Barry, who was known as Jack and was from Ireland, sat i n silence throughout the five-minute hearing.

Judge Anthony Morris remanded the boy into youth custody and ordered a pre-sentence report ahead of his sentencing next month.

Because of his age, the child is likely to receive a relatively short sentence and extensive monitoring by probation workers.

The murder took place as Mr Barry and his long-term girlfriend Sabrina Moss returned to her flat at about 8pm on December 14 last year.

The builder refused to let the schoolboy ‘tailgate’ the couple into the building through a secure door.

The block had been plagued with petty crime and homeless people looking for shelter and police had warned residents to be on their guard. The boy and his friends then turned on Mr Barry who was stabbed once in the heart and collapsed.

Paramedics spent more than 30 minutes trying to stem the bleeding but were unable to save him.

Police arrested five boys, all aged 13 and 14, including several who were well-known to officers in the area. Four were released without charge.

It subsequent­ly emerged that the boys were at the wrong address as the birthday party they wanted to enter was in a neighbouri­ng block.

In the wake of the murder neighbours described Mr Barry as a ‘hardworkin­g’ and ‘lovely’ constructi­on site worker and branded him a ‘hero’.

Several, including the man who comforted Miss Moss as her boyfriend lay dying, said they were left scared to go out. Edmonton Green has been plagued by street violence and was a flashpoint in the 2011 August riots.

Police chiefs are concerned about a recent rise in knife crime and the murder of Mr Barry was the third in a square mile area in just 16 days.

Some streets are so notorious that they have been dubbed ‘the swamp’ by local police officers.

The latest statistics show knife crime is rising despite huge efforts to tackle those carrying weapons.

The N9 area first came to public notice in early 2008 when five youths were murdered in revenge attacks in just three months. In 2011, Negus McLean, 15 was stabbed and beaten to death by a gang who tried to steal his brother’s mobile phone.

 ??  ?? Stabbing victim: Christophe­r Barry
Stabbing victim: Christophe­r Barry

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