Two people have been jailed for a combined 44 years for the murder of a Cramlington teenager.
Owen Kerry was stabbed during an altercation inside Cramlington Workmen’s Social Club at around 10.30pm on Christmas Eve last year.
The 19-year-old, from Cramlington, passed away in Newcastle’s RVI in the early hours of Christmas Day.
Following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court, Brian Cahill and his girlfriend Lyndsey Harper were yesterday (Tuesday) found guilty of murder.
And appearing back at court today both were given life sentences, with Cahill ordered to serve a minimum of 26 years in jail before being considered for release while Harper will serve a minimum of 18 years.
Prosecutors told the court that Mr Kerry was stabbed in the abdomen during the attack.
They said Cahill carried out the fatal blow while Harper played a role in the attack.
Cahill had told the court that he was trying to push the victim away and had picked up an object, not knowing it was a knife.
Harper was also found guilty of perverting the course of justice by attempting to destroy evidence by soaking clothes in bleach.
Cahill, 35, of Northern Terrace, Dudley, and Harper, 36, of Queens Gardens, Annitsford, both denied murder.
DCI Lisa Theaker said: “Owen’s family have shown tremendous courage throughout this trial. I want to praise them for their dignity and the support they have provided during the investigation.
“Cahill and Harper have shown no remorse for their actions, Owen was an innocent young man who had his whole life ahead of him, he had gone to his local workingmen’s club to celebrate Christmas with friends.
“He was stabbed in an entirely unprovoked, cowardly and sickening attack.
“Both defendants fled the scene immediately and left Owen fighting for his life.
“The festive period will no doubt be a particularly difficult time for Owen’s family given his death was on Christmas Eve.
“I hope that they receive some comfort in knowing that those responsible for his death are now behind bars.
“The jury have made their decision today after hearing all the evidence and it is with thanks to them and the courage of the witnesses that they are both being held to account for their actions.
“Owen’s Murder clearly demonstrates the consequences of carrying a knife.
“The terms of imprisonment should serve as a warning. Northumbria police will take positive action and you will face prosecution for carrying a knife in public.”
Mr Kerry’s family said: “We would like to thank Northumbria Police who have worked tirelessly to gather the evidence needed in this case, and the family liaison officers who have been with us every step of the way.
“We would like to thank Mr Robertson QC and the rest of the legal team for presenting the case in a thorough manner over the past few weeks.
“We would like to thank all the people who provided statements to the police and to the witnesses that have appeared at court, we appreciate that it was a very difficult thing to do under these circumstances
“Our thanks go to the paramedics, the doctors at the RVI and the other healthcare professionals who tried so hard to save our son’s life on Christmas Eve and who comforted us through that horrifying night.
“Thanks also go out to Victim Support Homicide team who have helped us immensely and to Barnardos for the support they have given to our daughters.
“No length of sentence or level of justice will ever bring Owen back.
“Our lives will never be the same without him and at this present moment we are struggling to envisage a future without our son in it, however we are hoping that we can now rebuild our lives in some way.
“We hope that our son’s lust for life will live on in each of us.
“In Owen’s memory, we are urging people to give blood as often as they can as Owen received so much blood whilst the medical professionals tried in vein to save his life.
“So far our #APintForOwen message has encouraged almost 100 units of blood to be donated and we hope this number will continue to grow over time.
“We will also be focusing on raising funds for Northumbria Blood Bikes to honour his legacy.
“To our family and friends your love and support have guided us through this most difficult period in our lives, in time we will rebuild this family, together, through strength and love.
“Facing this without you all would have been simply impossible.
“The support we have received from the community has been completely and utterly overwhelming.
“They have supported us in every single aspect of our lives. We cannot thank you enough.
“It is clear to see by their actions that Owen’s murder has not only effected us as a family but also the wider community and beyond.
“Owen was loved by so many and will be missed for an eternity.”