Dad horrified as man who helped kill his teenage son freed one year after trial

A father has been left devastated by the news that the man who helped kill his 18-year-old son is to walk free after only a year in prison.

Much-loved aspiring boxer Connor Brown was killed in February 2019, while trying to protect others from thug Leighton Barrass, who had pulled out a knife in an argument over two five pound notes.

Barrass, then 20, was found guilty of murder, but his accomplice, Ally Gordon, walked away with convictions for manslaughter and for possessing a bladed weapon.

Gordon, also 20 at the time of the incident, helped in Barrass’ brutal attack on Connor, stamping on and kicking him.

He was handed a three-and-a-half-year prison term Newcastle Crown Court in December 2019.

But thanks to time already served behind bars ahead of the trial, he’s already served half the sentence, and on Wednesday, Connor’s family received the news they had been dreading.

Gordon had now been released on licence, Chronicle Live reports.

Connor’s dad, Simon Brown, from Sunderland, said: “It’s a kick in the guts, because we are only 12 months from when we were in court.

“We knew it was coming but when we got the call yesterday it was properly gut-wrenching.”

Simon said the sentence, which lawyers attempted to challenge earlier this year, was a let down for his family.

The Court of Appeal heard arguments that Gordon’s three-and-a-half-year prison sentence was unduly lenient, but appeal judges upheld the sentence, to the family’s horror.

“So many people feel let down by the system nowadays,” he said.

“Things like this happen so often that you just almost can’t believe it.”

Ever since the death of their beloved son, parents Simon and Tanya have been focused on preventing knife crime, helping disadvantaged young people, and creating a lasting legacy for their “wonderful” son, through the Connor Brown Trust, which is now set to launch next year.