Sunderland mum 'broken-hearted' after son's killer harbours murderer after leaving prison

21.08.21 Tanya Brown
Connor Brown ( inset ) was killed in a knife attack in Sunderland in 2019 and his mother, Tanya, is "broken-hearted" after finding out one of her son's killers has harboured a murderer while on licence from jail. Credit: NCJ MEDIA

A mother whose son was killed in a knife attack said she is "broken-hearted" after one of her son's killers harboured a murderer while on licence from prison.

Connor Brown died in a knife attack in Sunderland in 2019 and 22-year-old Ally Gordon was jailed for his manslaughter.

His sentence was three-and-a-half years while co-accused Leighton Barrass received a life sentence for murdering the promising young boxer.

Gordon, who has been released from prison on licence, has appeared in court again charged with assisting the man who killed Blaine Hammond in Sunderland.

Anthony Keating, along with co-accused Louis Whelan, was jailed for life in January for killing the 22-year-old.

Ally Gordon ( L ) harboured murderer Anthony Keating ( R ) whilst on licence from jail. Credit: NCJ Media

Tanya Brown, Connor's mother passed on her condolences to Blaine's family.

She said: "He has not been remorseful in what he's done to Connor, he hasn't learnt anything from playing his part in Connor's death. It feels like he's just smug about it. It's like he's getting away with it. He got a really lenient sentence for playing his part and I still believe he had more involvement in Connor's death than what we could prove.

"I don't want this to be all about Connor. I feel really broken for Blaine's mam, that's hard enough. But it's the fact that somebody like Gordon thinks it's totally acceptable to hide and harbour someone for doing what he did."

Following the conviction of the two men who killed her 18-year-old son, Ms Brown, 42, became a prominent figure in the fight against knife crime and raises awareness of the devastation it can cause through her charity, the Connor Brown Trust.

Gordon, latterly of New Battle Ave, Calderback, Airdrie, Scotland pleaded guilty to assisting an offender between 2 and 6 December 2021, during a Newcastle Crown Court appearance.

Judge Paul Sloan KC said there was evidence he knew a killing had taken place because of internet searches he had made.

Following Gordon's guilty plea to harbouring Keating, Judge Paul Sloan KC further remanded him in custody and told him: "I'm adjourning your case for sentence and as you've just heard the sentence hearing will be on the 26 September."

Full details of the offence will not be revealed until Gordon is sentenced next month.

Ms Brown said she hoped his sentence would fit the crime.

She said: "He is back where he belongs, and I do genuinely hope that Blaine's mam can get some peace that he's behind bars.

"It's something we can't forgive, we certainly don't forget. We have to live with the pain of losing our sons and he's played a part in that. I don't blame the police, I blame the justice system, the court system. It's far too lenient and the punishments they hand out do not fit the crimes. The families of the victims are just not taken into consideration."

"I suppose the system has failed him as well because he hasn't been in prison long enough to be reformed."

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