Devastated family pay tribute to ‘kind, caring’ man killed in botched robbery
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The grief-stricken family of a Northampton man killed during an attempted robbery at his home have paid tribute to his kind and caring nature.
Christopher Allbury-Burridge, aged 33, died as a result of a single stab wound inflicted when armed men tried to break into his home in Raeburn Road, Kingsley, on December 11 last year, in an attempt to steal a small number of cannabis plants he was growing.
Following the conviction of three men for murder and one for manslaughter, his grieving family have spoken out about the crushing weight of his loss, and their hopes that his death will highlight to others the dangers of any involvement with drugs or carrying a knife.
His father Russell said: “So many people have been affected by the tragedy of Chris’s death. Words cannot express the pain and anger we have endured, the premature loss of a son, brother, cousin and friend in such a tragic way is beyond words.
“No custodial sentence can ever reflect the heartache and pain we all feel. Chris’ death was a consequence of greed and a knife-carrying culture. Those willing to carry and use knives chose to kill him needlessly with no regard for the effect it would have on so many of us.
“We love him and miss him very much. He will always be present in our hearts and minds but never again physically with us. The anguish of not being able to say goodbye and thinking of all the other things that will remain unsaid will always be with us.”
Christopher began his working life as a carer at Northampton’s St Andrew’s hospital, which provides specialist mental healthcare.
He went on to join his cousin in Ethiopia, spending three years teaching English to children at a school in the capital Addis Ababa.
Upon his return to the UK he worked again at St Andrew’s hospital before moving to a role with a charity supporting vulnerable people into independent living.
Dad Russell said: “His desire to help others led him to all his jobs, it was all he wanted to do.
“His death is a huge loss to us as a family and to everyone he worked with and helped.”
The family describe Christopher as having a laid-back, gentle and considerate nature, and as being family-oriented and very close to his siblings and cousins, recalling a sociable character who loved gaming and poker nights with family and friends.
The family hopes part of Christopher’s legacy can be to deter others who may consider growing cannabis themselves.
His aunt Nicola explained: “We knew nothing about Christopher growing cannabis, and want to talk about the dangers of doing this on even such a small scale. Christopher was naïve to the risks of the very dark underworld that surrounds it all, the money and risk of robbery that it brings.
“The message we really want to get out to others is to learn from what has happened and don’t get involved, because you don’t know what you’re getting into. To be killed for something like growing a few cannabis plants is an absolute tragedy.
“We also want to try to deter anyone from carrying a knife. The further impact of knife crime on everyone around it, not just family, is devastating.
“We won’t get to see Chris get married and have children, he’ll never again join family holidays or meals and we will feel his loss forever.”
His father Russell added: “The circumstances of his death cannot distract from the kind, loving and caring person that Chris was and has always been.”
He extended the family’s gratitude to Northamptonshire Police in bringing Christopher’s killers to justice, especially senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Joe Banfield, Detective Constable Josette Davis, and the EMSOU investigative team.
His father Russell said: “Our heartfelt thanks go to the whole team lead by DCI Joe Banfield and we would like to make a special mention of DC Josette Davis who has been a pillar of support throughout, thank you Jo.”