1. ITV Report

Two men convicted after Sunderland teenager Connor Brown stabbed to death

Connor Brown died after an altercation in a back alley in Sunderland in February Credit: Family Photo

Two men have been convicted after a Sunderland teenager was stabbed to death in the city centre.

Leighton Barrass and Ally Gordon, both 20, were convicted for fatally attacking 18-year-old Connor Brown in the early hours of February 24.

Mr Brown suffered five stab wounds during an altercation behind The Borough Pub.

Leighton Barrass (left) and Ally Gordon have both been convicted Credit: Northumbria Police

On Wednesday, after a four-week trial at Newcastle Crown Court, Barrass, of Hartside Square, was found guilty of murder by a jury.

Gordon, of Polmuir Road, Sunderland, was found guilty of manslaughter.

Both men will be sentenced on Thursday.

Northumbria Police detective superintendent John Bent said: "This tragedy has devastated Connor's family, friends, and the wider community of Sunderland.

The outpouring of grief in the days and weeks after Connor's death highlighted just how popular he was - he had everything to live for.

– Detective Superintendent John Bent

The court was told Mr Brown initially rowed with Barrass and Gordon after they had tried to sell he and a friend drugs following a night out in Sunderland.

A short time later, Barrass threatened Mr Brown and a group of his friends with a knife, claiming he “would stab any one of them”.

Barrass then stabbed his victim five times as Gordon joined in the attack by kicking and stamping on the teenager.

After those nearby learned the extent of Mr Brown’s injuries, Barrass fled the scene but was apprehended by doorstaff who were working in the city centre and had been alerted to the attack.

Police arrested Barrass near the alleyway where Mr Brown died, and after becoming aware of Gordon’s involvement, officers tracked the second defendant down and detained him in Scotland.

The family of Connor Brown giving a statement outside Newcastle Crown Court Credit: ITV News

Following the convictions of the two men, Mr Brown's parents gave a statement outside court and said there were 'no winners' in this case.

Connor was the most wonderful son that any parents could have wished for. He lit up every room he walked in to, his smile was infectious and he was loved by so many people.

– Family statement

"Over the last four weeks, instead of looking forward to Christmas as a family, we have been sat in a court room forced to re-live the events of that tragic night which saw Connor cruelly taken away from us.

"The two defendants have shown little remorse for their actions, and while their conviction today brings some comfort to us knowing that justice has been served, there are no winners.

"Nothing can bring Connor back, and that is the sobering reality that we face.

"We cannot put into words the kindness and generosity that the community has shown to our family since Connor's death. The outpouring of emotion shows what a special person Connor truly was and has reminded us all that Sunderland does have a heart."