Four burglars who knifed care worker, 33, to death while raiding his house to steal ‘a few home-grown cannabis plants’ are jailed for total of 92 years
Christopher Allbury-Burridge, 33, was killed at his home in Northampton on Friday
Four burglars who stabbed a care worker to death while while raiding his house for cannabis have been jailed.
Christopher Allbury-Burridge, 33, died from a single stab wound to the chest when a gang burst into his Northampton home in the early hours of December 11 last year.
Mr Allbury-Burridge bled to death on his kitchen floor at the property in Raeburn Road, Kingsley, shortly after 2.10am.
Four thugs had stormed the house in an attempt to steal a small amount of cannabis that he had been growing, Northampton Crown Court was told.
Mr Allbury-Burridge, a carer and charity worker who was in his living room after an evening socialising with family, ran into his kitchen to confront the intruders when he was brutally attacked.
Jordan Parker, 25, Calum Farquhar, 24, and Rakeem Leandre, 26, were all previously found guilty of murder while Joel Cyrus, 26, was convicted of manslaughter.
All four were convicted of conspiracy to rob the cannabis plants and were sentenced at Northampton Crown Court on Monday.
Parker, of Walthamstow, east London, was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 26 years.
He was also given 15 years for conspiracy to rob, and 22 months having admitted possession of an offensive weapon in relation to the knife used.
Farquhar, of Leyton, east London, was jailed for life to serve at least 26 years and 17 years and six months for conspiracy to rob and possession of an offensive weapon, to run concurrently.
Leandre, of Norwich, was also sentenced to life with a minimum term of 26 years for murder, and a further 17 years and six months for the same offences as Farquhar, to run concurrently.
Cyrus, of Leyton, was ordered to serve 14 years for manslaughter and 14 years for conspiracy to rob, to run concurrently.
Jordan Parker, left, Calum Farquhar, right, were found guilty of murder
Rakeem Leandre, left, was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 26 years for murder, and a further 17 years and six months for the same offences as Farquhar. Joel Cyrus, right, was ordered to serve 14 years for manslaughter and 14 years for conspiracy to rob
Sentencing, Judge Adrienne Lucking said: ‘I assess the seriousness of the offence is particularly high because this was a murder for gain.
‘The aggravating factor is that the death took place as part of a planned robbery. It clearly carried a high risk of serious violence.’
Following the case, Mr Allbury-Burridge’s mother Elaine Smith made a heartbreaking plea for more to be done to tackle drug and knife crime in Britain.
She said: ‘Whilst Christopher was caught up in an illegal activity, he did not need to die so horrifically for it.
Pictured: Christopher Allbury-Burridge
‘This trial is about wasted lives, both Christopher’s, the lives of his attackers, and all of the devastated families involved in this tragedy.
‘We want to call on the government for more help to be given to prevent young people from getting involved in the drugs industry, and to help reduce knife crime.
‘How many more young people are going to have their lives ruined by drugs and crime before tougher measures are put in place to stop this wave of destruction?
‘I would rather be visiting my son in jail for a few years, than mourning his devastating loss.
‘These men will never understand the pain and devastating loss that they have caused the loved ones of Christopher because of their actions that night.
‘We have lost not only our beloved Chris, but we have also lost our future with him.
‘We will have no more Happy Birthdays, Christmases, and the chance of seeing him happy with his new partner and family.
‘No justice or time will ever bring any of us closure, Chris will be in our dreams and nightmares for the rest of our lives.
‘That is the legacy they have left us with.’
The trial was told the four men travelled from London in two cars to target Christopher’s home after making a number of reconnaissance trips in preparation.
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 Christopher who went to see what was happening before he was brutally attacked.
Detectives found automatic number-plate recognition (ANPR) cameras had captured his killers’ movements.
Northamptonshire Police was able to track the four men’s movements as they travelled up the M1 from London to Christopher’s home and back again.
Northamptonshire Police have said more than 50 detectives were working on the investigation
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.
Detective Chief Inspector Joe Banfield, of Northamptonshire Police, said afterwards: ‘First and foremost our thoughts today are with Christopher’s family, who have borne the devastating pain of his death and the process of securing justice for him with dignity and courage.
‘Christopher was a much-loved, family-oriented man, and no sentence will ever make up for his loss.
‘However, I hope that knowing those who caused his death will spend so long in prison is of some small comfort to his loved ones.
‘Today’s result demonstrates that offences of this nature are taken very seriously – these four men deliberately targeted Christopher’s home thinking to commit the perfect crime, which could never be reported.
‘They were reckless in the force they were prepared to use to benefit themselves, and tragically Christopher paid with his life.
‘Now they will rightly spend a significant proportion of their own in jail, where I hope they reflect and atone for their actions.
‘My final words are of thanks to the investigative team, whose tireless efforts in tracing and identifying the defendants allowed us to prove their guilt in court, and secure justice for Christopher and his family.’
Pictured: A police cordon was put in place on Raeburn Road, in Kingsley, where Christopher Allbury-Burridge was stabbed to death near his home
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.
His dad Russell added: ‘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.
‘We love him and miss him very much. He will always be present in our hearts and minds but never again physically with us.’
His aunt Nicola said ‘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.’