Christopher Allbury-Burridge family pay tribute to 'very loved' Northampton murder victim after trio found guilty

Mother: 'From December 29, 1986, Christopher lit up my life, bringing me joy and much happiness'

Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 5:32 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 5:37 pm

Christopher Allbury-Burridge's family have paid tribute to the Northampton man after three men were found guilty of his murder and another of his manslaughter today (Wednesday, September 22).

The 33-year-old victim's mother, Elaine Smith, described him as 'very loved' and 'her inspiration' while his step-father and others also honoured him.

"From December 29, 1986, Christopher lit up my life, bringing me joy and much happiness - he was a beautiful child with a caring nature," she said in a statement to the Chronicle & Echo.

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Christopher Allbury-Burridge. Photo courtesy of Northamptonshire Police

"He grew up to be a humble, religious man, protective of the ones he loved. He adored his baby brother, teaching him to swim, and ride a bike.

"He loved his girlfriend and was planning to create a home and family with her. His many friends remember him with love."

Mr Allbury-Burridge died from a stab wound to the chest at his house in Raeburn Road, Kingsley, in the early hours of December 11, 2020.

Calum Farquhar, Rakeem Leandre and Jordan Parker were found guilty of his murder by a jury at Northampton Crown Court today (Wednesday, September 22).

Christopher Allbury-Burridge with school children in Ethiopia. Photo courtesy of Northamptonshire Police

Joel Cyrus was found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter - all four were convicted of conspiracy to rob the murder victim of the cannabis plants he was growing at his home.

Farquhar, 24, of Liverpool Road, Leyton, and Leandre, 26, of Brewers Court, Norwich, were also found guilty of having an article with a blade or point while Cyrus, 26, of Whitney Road, Leyton, was found not guilty.

Parker, 25, of Chingford Road, Walthamstow, had already pleaded guilty. The quartet are due to be sentenced on November 29.

Christopher Allbury-Burridge's 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."

Mr Allbury-Burridge spent most of his working life caring for others, be it young or vulnerable people at St Andrew's mental health hospital or teaching English to children in Ethiopia.

Mrs Smith said her son was not a materialist person and he 'wanted the company of his friends and family, he loved children, nature, and animals'.

"He loved to grow vegetables in our back garden or in our allotment, giving away the surplus to his friends and colleagues," she added.

"He dreamed of living a permaculture lifestyle, in harmony with nature, and encouraged people around him to change their ways to live a more sustainable life."

Mrs Smith mother used part of the compensation for her son's murder to make a 'substantial' donation to the charity Stand By Me, which helps young children all around the world, which she said he 'would have loved'.

"Christopher was very loved and had so much to look forward to," she continued.

"Our lives will never be the same without him, every day is a sharp stab in the heart to remember that he has gone. Every day candles are lit, and tears shed."

Mr Allbury-Burridge's aunt, Nicola, added: “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.”

Chris’s stepfather Mike Smith said: "Chris and I got on very well, we respected each other, and I miss him dreadfully.

"It is torture to see the pain that his mother is going through because of his loss."

Mr Allbury-Burridge was looked after by childminder Maureen Jones as a child while his mother worked full time

She said: "Christopher and his mother soon became a part of our family, and he will always be in our hearts.

"We watched him grow to be a religious, thoughtful, and caring person who I was proud of for always putting other people first."

His close friend and Maureen’s daughter, Lydia Bracken, added: "Chris was the most kind and gentle person I ever met.

"From a child he held fond memories in our family, and we cherish those together.

"He was religious and gave time and care in the community, both in his work and teaching in Ethiopia.

"He will never get to experience being a husband and father, I have no doubt that he would have been amazing at both. He had so much love left to give.”

Russell added that the circumstances of his son's death 'cannot distract from the kind, loving and caring person that Chris was and has always been'.

“We love him and miss him very much. He will always be present in our hearts and minds but never again physically with us," he said.

"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.”