Waltham Forest Echo

Waltham Forest Echo

‘Overconfident’ Waltham Forest trio killed man in robbery gone wrong

Three young Waltham Forest men now have a man’s blood on their hands after an attempt to steal cannabis plants went tragically wrong Jordan Parker, Calum [...]

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(From left to right) Joel Cyrus, Calum Farquhar and Jordan Parker (credit: Northampton Police)
By Waltham Forest Echo 01 October 2021

Three young Waltham Forest men now have a man’s blood on their hands after an attempt to steal cannabis plants went tragically wrong

Jordan Parker, Calum Farquhar and Joel Cyrus – all from the borough and in their 20s – were convicted last week for their involvement in the fatal stabbing of a man in Northampton.

On 10th December last year, the trio and Norwich 26-year-old Rakeem Leandre drove more than 70 miles from London to Northampton to commit a carefully planned robbery.

Unfortunately, their intended victim, 33-year-old Christopher Allbury-Burridge, was at home and was stabbed in the chest by Parker, after which the group fled and left him to bleed out.

Following the guilty verdicts on 22nd September, the senior investigating police officer for the murder said the group’s “greed drove them to commit what they thought was the perfect crime”.

Detective Chief Inspector Joe Banfield led a team of more than 50 detectives, who caught the killers using licence plate recognition and mobile phone signals to track their journey that night.

He said: “When Jordan Parker took the decision to arm himself that night, he did so without stopping to think of the potential consequences of his arrogant desire to use force in order to take what was not rightfully his.

“Christopher made one wrong choice, in deciding to grow cannabis at his home, and he tragically paid for that decision with his life.

“No verdict or jail sentence will ever free Christopher’s family from the nightmare of his loss but I very much hope this outcome provides them with some solace in their grief and I’d like to commend them for the courage and dignity they have shown throughout this difficult trial.”

He added that the killers, who had “targeted others in this way before” and took several trips to scope out Christopher’s home before striking, had become “overconfident”.

The jury at the group’s six-week trial at Northampton Crown Court heard Christopher had returned to his home after seeing family when he heard the glass of his back door smash.

He ran into the kitchen and interrupted 25-year-old Parker, of Chingford Road, Walthamstow, as he tried to climb inside. Parker claimed he then stabbed Christopher accidentally but this was rejected by the jury.

In a statement after the trial, Christopher’s dad Russell said his death was “a consequence of greed and a knife-carrying culture” and a tragedy “beyond words”.

He said Christopher had worked as a carer at a mental health hospital, teaching English to children in Ethiopia and for a charity supporting vulnerable people into independent living.

He added: “His desire to help others led him to all his jobs, it was all he wanted to do. The circumstances of his death cannot distract from the kind, loving and caring person that Chris was and has always been.”

Parker was arrested on 15th December last year, just five days after the murder, along with 24-year-old Farquhar, of Liverpool Road, and 26-year-old Cyrus, of Whitney Road – both from Leyton. Leandre was arrested in Norwich three days later. 

Parker, Farquhar and Leandre were all found guilty of murder, conspiracy to rob and possession of a weapon.

Cyrus, who the jury found did not have a weapon, was convicted of conspiracy to rob and manslaughter for his involvement.

All four men will be sentenced for their crimes on 29th November.