David Brickwood trial: Judge 'regrets' Northampton grandfather's killers still not brought to justice
"Anyone convicted of Mr Brickwood's murder would plainly have been sentenced to life imprisonment, with a term measured in decades."
A judge says he "regrets enormously" that David Brickwood's killers could not be brought to justice this week after ruling a trial did not have enough evience to continue.
David Brickwood was stabbed to death at his Lindsay Avenue home in September 26, 2015, by intruders searching for money.
But at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday (April 28), a long-awaited trial over the unsolved murder was brought to a shocking halt.
David Brickwood trial: DNA evidence alone is 'not enough' to convict man accused of Northampton grandfather's murder, jury toldOn what was meant to be the first day of the defence's evidence, His Honour Judge Edward Pepperall told the jury the evidence in the case was not enough.
As a result, the defendant - Cameron St Rose, of Bristol Street, Forest Gate - was found not guilty of both charges of burglary and murder.
In a statement to the jury, Judge Pepperall shared his insights into the case and "regretted" that Mr Brickwood's killers have still not been brought to justice.
He said: "Whoever broke into [the home on] Lindsay Avenue in the early hours of September 26, 2015, and murdered Mr Brickwood committed heinous crimes.
"Mr Brickwood must have been terrified as he was woken by two armed intruders. It's clear he was targeted by the intruders as he was known to keep large amounts of cash at home.
"Given the £60,000 that was found in the house, the obvious inference is that Mr Brickwood refused to hand over his money. He bravely tried to resist the intruders but he was overwhelmed.
"Anyone convicted of Mr Brickwood's murder would plainly have been sentenced to life imprisonment, with a term measured in decades.
"I regret enormously that the police have been unable to bring to justice whoever killed Mr Brickwood. He died a cruel death at the hands of viscous criminals."
During the trial, tribute after tribute from Mr Brickwood's family, friends and neighbours remarked what a "kind, generous" man he was in life.One from David's son, Nathan, read: "My dad was the backbone of the family. Everybody loved him.
"He would give you the shirt off his back. He bought bags of shopping for neighbours who were struggling. He would stop and chat with whoever walked by. He made time for everybody. He was a pinnacle part of Abington."
The decision came after the judge, prosecution and defence team agreed that although St Rose's DNA was found at the scene, it did not prove he was at the scene in person.
Forensic scientists gave evidence that the DNA material was likely only a few skin cells and could not rule whether this meant St Rose left the sample there himself, or by 'secondary transfer' - for example, where someone wearing a pair of gloves that St Rose once wore then broke into the home.
A spokesperson for Northamptonshire Police, said: “We are disappointed that the decision has been made not to progress to the conclusion of the trial but must respect the direction of His Honor Mr Justice Pepperall.
“As ever, our thoughts are with the family and friends of Mr Brickwood. We share their frustration that no one has yet been brought to justice following his death.”