Norwich man found guilty of 33-year-old's murder

Norwich man Rakeem Leandre who has been found guilty of murder.

Norwich man Rakeem Leandre who has been found guilty of the murder of Christopher Allbury-Burridge in Northampton. - Credit: Northampton Police

A Norwich man has been found guilty of murder after an attempt to steal cannabis plants led to a 33-year-old being stabbed to death.

Rakeem Leandre, 26, of Brewers Court, Norwich, accompanied three other men to steal drugs during a night-time raid at a house in Northampton.

Christopher Allbury-Burridge was at home at the time and was stabbed during the incident in Kingsley, in the early hours of December 11 2020.

Christopher Allbury-Burridge. PIC: Northamptonshire Police.

Christopher Allbury-Burridge who was stabbed to death at his Northampton home in December last year. - Credit: Northamptonshire Police

The 33-year-old died from a stab wound to the chest.

Leandre; Calum Farquhar, 24, Joel Cyrus, 26, and Jordan Parker, 25, have been on trial at Northampton Crown Court having denied murder and conspiracy to rob the cannabis plants.

Brewers Court in Norwich where convicted murderer Rakeem Leandre lived.

Brewers Court in Norwich where convicted murderer Rakeem Leandre lived. - Credit: Peter Walsh, Archant Norfolk

But on Wednesday (September 22) Leandre was found guilty of murder together with Parker, from Walthamstow, and Farquhar, from Leyton, while Cyrus, also from Leyton, was convicted of manslaughter.

The home in Brewers Court in Norwich where convicted murderer Rakeem Leandre lived.

The home in Brewers Court in Norwich where Rakeem Leandre, a man found guilty of the murder of a man in Northampton, lived. - Credit: Peter Walsh, Archant Norfolk

Leandre, Farquhar and Parker were also convicted of conspiracy to rob and possession of an offensive weapon while Cyrus was convicted of conspiracy to rob but found not guilty of possession of an offensive weapon.

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All four will be sentenced on November 29.

In a trial which began on August 2, the jury heard how the quartet travelled from London in two cars in order to target Mr Allbury-Burridge’s home, after making a number of reconnaissance trips in preparation.

When they arrived, the group approached the house and Parker began to break in via the back door, smashing the glass and trying to climb in while holding a large knife.

The noise alerted Mr Allbury-Burridge, who was in his living room after returning from an evening socialising with family.

He ran into the kitchen to investigate but suffered a single stab wound to the chest before the group fled, leaving him to bleed to death on the floor.

More than 50 detectives from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) were dedicated to the murder investigation.

Speaking following the verdicts, senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Joe Banfield, from the EMSOU team, who described the death as a tragedy.

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

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