Three men found guilty of murdering Christopher Allbury-Burridge in Northampton, fourth man convicted of manslaughter

All four convicted of conspiracy to rob victim of cannabis plants he was growing at Raeburn Road home last year

Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 2:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 5:40 pm

Three men have been found guilty of murdering Christopher Allbury-Burridge in Northampton with a fourth defendant convicted of manslaughter today (Wednesday, September 22).

Calum Farquhar, Rakeem Leandre and Jordan Parker were found guilty of murdering the 33-year-old at his home in Kingsley by a Northampton Crown Court jury after more than 24 hours of deliberation.

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

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Christopher Allbury-Burridge

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

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 jury retired to decide the quartet's fate on September 13 - they are due to be sentenced on November 29.

Senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Joe Banfield, said: “The death of Christopher Allbury-Burridge is a tragedy, and these guilty verdicts are a welcome conclusion to our investigation.

(Clockwise from top-left) Joel Cyrus, Calum Farquhar, Jordan Parker and Rakeem Leandre. Photos: Northamptonshire Police

“Christopher made one wrong choice in deciding to grow cannabis at his home, and he tragically paid for that decision with his life."

What happened to Christopher Allbury-Burridge?

During the six-week trial, the court heard that the four friends had travelled from London to steal Mr Allbury-Burridge's cannabis plants and Parker stabbed him as they tried to gain entry.

The defendants claimed they thought the house would be empty but James House QC, prosecuting, said they planned to rob the property and overwhelm anyone inside.

Mr Allbury-Burridge was sitting in the lounge when the window of the back door in the kitchen was smashed as either one or more of the robbers tried to get inside.

The occupant went to the back door and started throwing whatever came to him first at the intruders, which was some crockery and cutlery by the sink as well as a plastic drainer.

He also shouted: "Get the f*** out of my house," which his partner heard after being awoken by the 'rumbling' and 'chaos' downstairs.

Despite his efforts, Mr Allbury-Burridge was stabbed by Parker through the window, the blade going 21cm into his chest, causing him to collapse onto the kitchen floor.

His partner looked out of the bedroom window, which looks over the front of the house, and saw three men running away - one of them turning and laughing - before they drove back to London.

She called out for Mr Allbury-Burridge but got no reply so she grabbed a weights bar, went downstairs and found him on the floor.

The partner called her boyfriend's cousin, his housemate and another friend in a panic before ringing 999 - the emergency services arrived soon after but the victim was announced dead at the scene.

Police found a knife sheath in the garden, which had Parker's DNA on, and were able to track down the attackers by following ANPR camera footage and mobile phone mast data.

Cyrus and Farquhar were arrested on December 14, Parker two days later with flight tickets to Antigua and Leandre the following day.

Cyrus admitted to police going to the house with Parker and two unnamed men to steal the cannabis thinking it was derelict.

But he did not go around the back of the house as he could not get over the gate due to a knee injury, and he ran away when others came back saying someone was there.

Parker then told him he stabbed the occupant but he 'would not let anyone go down for what he did' - Parker only told police the sheath could have been moved and the flights were legitimate.

Parker later admitted having the knife and stabbing Mr Allbury-Burridge but claimed it was an accident as he tried to get out of the door.

Det Ch Insp Banfield said: “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.”

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