Seven convicted over the ‘ferocious’ killing of teenager in Barry
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Three men and a boy who ambushed a teenager and chased him to his death following a dispute over drugs, have today been convicted of murder.
Seventeen-year-old Harry Baker was found dead at an industrial container port in Barry on the morning of Wednesday, August 28, 2019.
The teenager had been stabbed to death and his partially-clothed body was found by staff arriving for work at the Barry Intermodal Terminal.
A trial at Newport Crown Court heard Harry and his friend, Louis Johnson, had been in the town selling drugs. The jury was told the two had crossed a group of local drug users who felt “ripped-off” and sought help from other drug dealers to confront them.
CCTV footage shows three Cardiff drug dealers – Leon Symons, 22, Leon Clifford, 23, and a 17-year-old boy – arriving in Barry at approximately 10.10pm on the night of August 27.
The three were driven to the town by Lewis Evans, 62, after being contacted by Barry drug users Ryan Palmer, 34, Raymond Thompson, 48, and Peter McCarthy, 37, and informed of the perceived slight upon them.
Further footage captures all seven defendants over the next two hours as they trawl various streets and addresses in the east end of the town, trying to find the young dealers to seek revenge.
The footage also shows an eighth person, Nathan Delafontaine, 34, who pleaded guilty to violent disorder prior to proceedings and was not on trial for murder.
Having set up a bogus deal, the defendants then descend on Little Moors Hill shortly after midnight, where some are seen lying in wait in bushes to ambush the teens. At least one of the group brandishes a knife as the pair arrive, and a foot chase ensues along Cardiff Road and on to Wimbourne Road.
In an attempt to flee their attackers, Harry and his friend scaled the fence to the Intermodal Terminal.
Further CCTV footage captures the moment Ryan Palmer, Peter McCarthy and Leon Symons enter the facility armed with knives and planks of wood.
Two minutes later, the three, alongside Leon Clifford, are captured on CCTV fleeing the scene, having inflicted fatal stab wounds on Harry and stripped him to steal his mobile phone.
Within half an hour of the killing, Symons, Clifford and the youth had been transported back to Cardiff by Evans.
During the trial, each of the defendants accepted they had been caught on CCTV at various stages of August 27 and the early hours of August 28.
All, however, denied being responsible for Harry’s murder. Leon Clifford admitted manslaughter, but his plea was rejected by the prosecution.
Palmer, McCarthy, Thompson, Symons and the teenage boy, who was 16 at the time of the killing, also denied violent disorder, while Evans, denied assisting an offender.
But their respective defences were rejected by the jury, and on Monday, March 15, Leon Clifford, Leon Symonds, Peter McCarthy and the youth, who can’t be named for legal reasons, were convicted of murder.
Lewis Evans, Raymond Thompson and Ryan Palmer were all found not guilty of murder, but were convicted of an alternative charge of manslaughter.
Judge Mr Justice Picken adjourned sentencing until Monday, March 29.
Welcoming the verdicts, Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Miles, said:
"This was a brutal, senseless and calculated attack, which tragically cost a young boy his life.
“Despite being from a loving family and wanting for nothing, Harry became involved in a dangerous lifestyle; a lifestyle in which more value is placed upon drugs and money than on human life.
“Harry did not deserve the punishment meted out to him that night and his violent death has had a devastating impact on the family and friends he leaves behind.
“Our thoughts remain with them as they now wait to find out the sentences Harry’s killers will receive, and begin to contemplate rebuilding their lives without him.”