Northampton murder trial: No evidence one of accused was involved in Christopher Allbury-Burridge's death, jury hears

'There's no real evidence other than speculation or 'nudge, nudge, wink, wink' for those of you old enough to remember Monty Python'

Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 6:10 pm
Updated Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 6:12 pm

There is no evidence one of the four men on trial for murdering a Northampton cannabis grower was involved in the killing, a jury has heard.

Joel Cyrus, along with Calum Farquhar, Rakeem Leandre and Jordan Parker, denies murdering Christopher Allbury-Burridge at his home on Raeburn Road on December 11, last year.

Simon Pentol QC, defending the 26-year-old, from London, summed up his case to the jury at Northampton Crown Court today (Wednesday, September 8).

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Christopher Allbury Burridge was killed at his home in Raeburn Road, Northampton, in December 2020

Cyrus claims he drove to Northampton with his three co-defendants and another man to steal cannabis plants from an empty property and had no plan to rob or kill Mr Allbury-Burridge.

"There is no evidence Joel Cyrus carried any weapon or any house breaking implement or caused any damage that night in Raeburn Road," he said.

"He was and remained at the front of the house at Raeburn Road when Chris tragically met his death.

"There is not a scintilla of evidence he did or said anything to encourage Mr Parker to bring a knife, withdraw a knife, use a knife, let along stab anybody.

"There's no real evidence other than speculation or 'nudge, nudge, wink, wink' for those of you old enough to remember Monty Python."

Mr Pentol pointed out that Cyrus was the only defendant to give police an account of what happened after he was arrested on suspicion of Mr Allbury-Burridge's murder.

Furthermore, the defendant fainted when he was arrested, which suggested he was not the sort of person to be associated with extreme violence, the defence barrister said.

"It is wholly out of character for this young man, wholly out of character for someone who is undeniably a caring, responsible, now 26 years of age and an otherwise decent young man who does happen to have a penchant for stealing cannabis from unoccupied premises but that's a wholly different category of offence," he added.

Mr Pentol said any contradictions or discrepancies with Cyrus' evidence can be put down to nerves as he has never been on trial for murder or even been a witness before.

He also suggested that many of the details of what happened that night would have been the same if they were there to burgle the cannabis or rob it.

Also had they gone to the property 24 hours earlier, it would have been empty as they expected as Mr Allbury-Burridge was staying at his partner's home.

Mr Pentol said: "It may have seemed like a good idea at the time but it turned out to be ridiculously stupid but it seemed good at the time.

"He had no thought for the consequences of his actions or thought that nine months down the line having to explain it in a witness box in a murder trial."

The accused are: Cyrus, 26, of Whitney Road, Leyton; Farquhar, 24, of Liverpool Road, Leyton; Leandre, 26, of Brewers Court, Norwich; and Parker, 24, of Chingford Road, Walthamstow.

All four men have been charged with murder and conspiracy to rob - Parker has pleaded guilty to possessing a knife.

The trial continues.