Father stabbed to death with machete was killed for 'caring about his community'

Tieran Carmody (left) murdered Max Richardson with a machete. Credit: Essex Police

A teenage killer who stabbed a father to death because he confronted him about loitering in a children's park has been convicted of murder.

Police said that the much-loved 35-year-old Max Richardson was killed for "simply caring about his community."

Chelmsford Crown Court heard that 19-year-old Tieran Carmody had been hanging around a play park, using drugs and making children feel uncomfortable.

Mr Richardson and some other residents approached Carmody to tell him how his actions were affecting the community, and that children were scared.

A fight then broke out, and Carmody pushed Mr Richardson to the floor. He then returned to his bike, grabbed his rucksack and drew the long blade from it's sheath.

Returning to Mr Richardson, who witnesses described as laying on the floor with his hands up in a surrendering position, he plunged the knife through the stomach. Carmody then jumped back on his bike and fled the scene, taking the weapon with him.

Max Richardson had confronted Tieran Carmody near a park in Harlow Credit: Essex Police/PA

Paramedics were called, but Mr Richardson was pronounced dead while on the way to hospital in an ambulance.

A manhunt to find Carmody was launched and CCTV and doorbell footage were used to build a timeline of his whereabouts. Police officers discovered that he was being helped by another 19-year-old, Harrison Barnett.

The pair were captured on CCTV at a shop in Pitsea, and leaving a pub in Benfleet, in the days following the murder.

Police found that Barnett was allowing Carmody to stay with him and use his mobile phone to speak with friends and family, and use the internet.

When Barnett's phone was recovered, police found searches for information and news articles about the murder. They found he had also looked up how to leave the country without a passport.

Carmody was seen on CCTV in a shop Credit: Essex Police

Barnett, of St Marys Crescent in Basildon, was arrested and later denied a charge of perverting the course of justice, but stood trial alongside Carmody and was convicted.

They will both be sentenced at a later date.

Detective Chief Inspector Ashley Howard, of Essex Police's Serious Crime Directorate, said: "Firstly and most importantly, I must address the fact the victim, a family man with young children, lost his life in the most cruel and needless fashion.

"Max had everything ahead of him. Instead, he was killed for simply caring about the safety of his neighbourhood.

"He died because Carmody chose to carry a large knife with him, a knife Carmody stated he carried for safety, however it was this weapon he used to murder a stranger.

"Carmody murdered Max for no other reason than he felt affronted that someone had dared to stand up to him.

"He stabbed Max deliberately and with purpose, intending to cause at the very least, serious harm to his victim. Nothing will give Max’s family their loved son, partner, father, brother and friend back.

"They have been supported throughout our investigation and the trial by specialist family liaison officers, but they must in their own way each now come to terms with a future without Max.

"Hopefully, they can draw some small amount of solace from the knowledge his killer has been brought to justice.

"Right from the outset of this investigation, when we received a call reporting Max had been seriously assaulted, a dedicated team of officers and staff were committed to apprehending the person responsible.

"There is never a good reason to carry a knife in public, particularly a knife of this horrifying nature, and no world in which it can be justified.

"Carmody has forever blighted the life of his victim’s family, but he has also ruined his own life. He can rightly expect to spend many years behind bars."

Much-loved father, Max Richardson Credit: Essex Police

In a statement issued before the trial, Max’s family said: "Our beloved Max. Son, fiancé, father, brother, friend. Max, the life and soul of us all.

"Always will be in the hearts of his family and his children who miss him dearly. Words cannot describe the pain we are all feeling right now.

"He will be solely remembered for the person that he was. Funny, caring and always there for his young children.

"Rest in peace now our beloved Max, always and forever in our thoughts and hearts."

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