Boy, 13, jailed for Irishman’s murder

A 13-year-old boy, who murdered Cobh man Christopher ‘Jack’ Barry just before Christmas, has been locked up for a minimum of 11 years.

The mother of the boy, one of the youngest children in Britain to plead guilty to murder and who cannot be named for legal reasons, wept in court as the sentence was read out.

The 13-year-old pleaded guilty to stabbing 53-year-old Christopher Barry twice in the chest outside his home in Edmonton, north London, on December 14 last year.

The court heard he had left a 13th birthday party with a group of friends to see another boy on to the bus home in time for an 8pm curfew.

But on their way back to the party, they went to the wrong block of flats and came across Mr Barry, accompanied by his girlfriend Sabrina Finn, outside.


When the victim refused to let them into the building, there was “pushing and shoving” between Mr Barry and the three boys before the defendant managed to get in.

He followed Mr Barry into the lift where he produced a kitchen knife from his rucksack and demanded “What you saying now? What you saying now?” before stabbing him twice.

Mr Barry did not know straightaway that he was hurt, and realised only when he took off his waxed jacket inside his flat and noticed blood on his shirt, Zoe Johnson QC, said.

Shortly afterwards, he collapsed in a pool of blood and went into cardiac arrest, she said. He died shortly afterwards.

Meanwhile, the boy had texted one friend “Ok, if anyone asks, I wasn’t there today”, and told another he was going to prison.

The court heard the boy had been a member of a Wood Green gang since he was just 10 and had been excluded from a school after receiving a police warning for carrying a knife on its premises.

During the hearing, Mr Barry’s girlfriend, Sabrina Finn, said her “heart was broken” following the Cobh man’s death and that her “life would never be the same again”.

“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. 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,” she said in a victim impact statement.

In mitigation, the boy’s defence team said he was “full of remorse” and had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, which the judge said he had taken into consideration.

Judge Stephen Kramer refused an application by the press to lift a legal ban on naming the boy, saying there were “exceptional” circumstances.

At the time of the murder, Mr Barry’s uncle Noel Barry described his nephew as a typical Irishman who had worked hard after emigrating to England in the 1980s.

“He was typical Irish. He worked hard and he never lost his Irish accent. He was a plumber, but he became a jack-of-all-trades really. He done everything really, tiling, carpentry work, block work, plastering, everything,” he said.


More in this section