Four men found guilty over death of Christopher Allbury-Burridge
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Three men have been convicted of murder and one has been convicted of manslaughter over the death of Northampton man Christopher Allbury-Burridge.
Jordan Parker, aged 25, Calum Farquhar, aged 24, and Rakeem Leandre, aged 26, have all been convicted of murder following Mr Allbury-Burridge’s death in the early hours of December 11 last year. Joel Cyrus, aged 26, has been convicted of manslaughter.
Mr Allbury-Burridge, aged 33, died from a single stab wound inflicted when the four men tried to break into his home in Raeburn Road, Kingsley, as they attempted to steal cannabis plants he was growing.
In a trial which began on August 2 at Northampton Crown Court, the jury heard how on the night of December 10 the quartet travelled from London in two cars in order to target Mr Allbury-Burridge’s home, after making a number of reconnaissance trips in preparation.
When they arrived in Raeburn Road, the group approached the house and Parker began to break in via the back door, smashing the glass and trying to climb in while holding a large knife.
The noise alerted Mr Allbury-Burridge, who was in his living room after returning from an evening socialising with family. He ran into the kitchen to investigate, where he suffered a single stab wound to the chest before the group fled, leaving him to bleed to death on the floor.
More than 50 detectives from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) were dedicated to the murder investigation, discovering that automatic number-plate recognition (ANPR) cameras had captured his killers’ movements.
Using the ANPR evidence and mobile phone analysis, Northamptonshire Police was able to track the four men’s movements as they travelled up the M1 from London to Mr Allbury-Burridge’s home and back again.
On December 15 Parker, Cyrus and Farquhar were arrested in London, with Leandre arrested in Norwich on December 18.
In court Parker claimed he stabbed Mr Allbury-Burridge accidentally, but the jury rejected this claim.
Speaking following the verdicts, senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Joe Banfield, from the EMSOU team, said: “The death of Christopher Allbury-Burridge is a tragedy, and these guilty verdicts are a welcome conclusion to our investigation.
“Christopher made one wrong choice in deciding to grow cannabis at his home, and he tragically paid for that decision with his life.
“He was targeted deliberately by four men whose greed drove them to commit what they thought was the perfect crime. Having targeted others in this way before, they became over-confident, and when Jordan Parker took the decision to arm himself that night he did so without stopping to think of the potential consequences of his arrogant desire to use force in order to take what was not rightfully his.
“The diligence of our investigative team enabled us to piece together this group’s activity in the lead-up to and aftermath of Christopher’s death, providing the evidence the jury needed to convict them for his senseless killing.
“No verdict or jail sentence will ever free Christopher’s family from the nightmare of his loss, but I very much hope this outcome provides them with some solace in their grief, and I’d like to commend them for the courage and dignity they have shown throughout this difficult trial.”
Mr Allbury-Burridge’s grieving family welcomed the verdicts and expressed their thanks to Northamptonshire Police, DCI Banfield, DC 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.”
All four men will be sentenced on November 29, 2021.
Read a family tribute to Christopher here.
Parker, of Chingford Road, Walthamstow, was found guilty of murder and conspiracy to rob. He had already pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon in relation to the knife used.
Farquhar, of Liverpool Road, Leyton, was found guilty of murder, conspiracy to rob and possession of an offensive weapon.
Leandre, of Brewers Court, Norwich, was found guilty of murder, conspiracy to rob and possession of an offensive weapon.
Cyrus, of Whitney Road, Leyton, was found guilty of manslaughter and conspiracy to rob. He was found not guilty of possession of an offensive weapon.