Father and son jailed for life for murder

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The Independent Online

A father and his 14-year-old son were jailed for life today for stabbing a man to death in a pub.

Harry Farrant and his father Jason Michael, 39, caused havoc in two local pubs.

During two months this year, they had used weapons on three men - killing one and wounding two others.

They were armed with knives and were ready to use them, said Michael Shorrock QC, prosecuting.

The father and son were found guilty last month of murdering Daniel Leahy, 45, in the Victoria pub in Axe Street, Barking, east London, on April 13.

The pair, of Abbey Road, Barking, were also found guilty of two charges of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm to David Murphy in the Victoria, and Lee Lumb at the Captain Cook pub nearby.

Farrant had been placed with his father by Kensington and Chelsea social services and told he could not live with his mother.

Old Bailey Judge Brian Barker, the Common Serjeant of London, ordered that Michael serve a minimum term of 19 years, and Farrant a minimum of 14 years.

Judge Barker told the pair they were both a danger to the public.

They had brought "disruption, violence and death" to two local pubs.

He told Michael: "You led your son into situations of terrifying aggressions rather than leading him away.

"You bear most of the responsibility and must bear most of the blame.

"You feel bad about involving your son - and so you should."

The judge gave Farrant custody for life and told him he had been placed in a situation where his loyalty to his father had led him to join in.

But the evidence suggested he had been the one who inflicted the fatal blow.

Farrant had been placed with his father from the age of seven and his reaction had been out of all proportion to his age.

Andrew Jeffries QC, for Farrant, said the father had treated him as a friend rather than a son.

The trial was told the pair moved from Notting Hill, west London, to Barking last December.

Soon they were playing pool in local pubs where Farrant passed as older than he was because of his burly frame.

At 1am on February 14, the two were in the Captain Cook when the licensee's son, Lee Lumb, was attacked.

"Both defendants produced and used knives. Lee Lumb received four stab wounds to the neck and shoulder area," said Mr Shorrock.

Then a row broke out on Easter Monday evening in April between Michael and Mr Leahy in the Victoria. The boy joined in.

Mr Leahy was stabbed through the heart with such force that the knife, embedded 8in up to the hilt, was still in his body when emergency services arrived.

He was also stabbed three times in the back with a bayonet and died within minutes. Mr Murphy was stabbed when he tried to help.

The court was told Farrant was the person who inflicted the main wounds on Mr Leahy and Mr Lumb.

Mr Shorrock said: "On both occasions, these defendants went out armed with knives and on both occasions either provoked or started a fight during the course of which they used their knives."

Farrant's mother called out: "Love you H."