SEVEN killers were jailed for a total of nearly 120 years following the brutal slaying of a 17-year-old boy left to die in a shipping container yard.
Harry Baker was ambushed, stabbed nine times and then stripped at Barry Docks by a gang after a clash between rival drug dealers.
The six men, five from Barry, one from Cardiff and a 17-year-old boy from the capital were convicted following a trial at Newport Crown Court.
Victim Harry Baker
The defendants, who were sentenced by judge Mr Justice Picken, and their prison terms were:
• Leon Clifford, 23, found guilty of murder, jailed for life with a minimum tariff of 27 years
• Leon Symons, 22, found guilty of murder, jailed for life with a minimum tariff of 28 years
• Brandon Liversidge, 17, found guilty of murder, jailed for life with a minimum tariff of 20 years
• Peter McCarthy, 38, found guilty of murder, jailed for life with a minimum tariff of 23 years
• Raymond Thompson, 48, found guilty of manslaughter, jailed for six years
• Ryan Palmer, 34, found guilty of manslaughter, jailed for 11 years
• Lewis Evans, 62, found guilty of manslaughter, jailed for four years
Mr Justice Picken told the seven: “He did not deserve to die. His death is as tragic and unnecessary as anyone who is murdered.”
Delivering a moving victim impact statement, Harry’s mother Emma told the court during the sentencing hearing: “They took away my child from me in such a cruel and barbaric way.
Harry Baker’s mother Emma and Peter spoke of their devastation in court
“To lose a child under any circumstances is a parent’s worst nightmare but to lose your child in such traumatic and violent circumstances is too hard to bear.
“The overwhelming feelings of pain and grief we feel as a family will be with us for the rest of our lives.”
Harry’s body was found covered in blood, stripped and covered in stab wounds in the Barry Intermodal Terminal
Paul Lewis QC, prosecuting, told the jury during the trial how the victim was “hunted down” by the gang after he was chased by them for a mile.
He said: “He was (found) lying face-down on the ground. He had been repeatedly stabbed and his clothing had been stripped from his body.
“He was just 17 years old at the date he was so brutally murdered.
“Harry Baker was deliberately targeted as a victim. He was ruthlessly hunted down by vicious people who were determined to find him.”
Mr Lewis said the Cardiff teenager had angered drug dealers in Barry after straying on to their patch and was lured to his death.
Harry and his friend Louis Johnson had been in the town selling drugs on August 28, 2019.
The jury was told the two had crossed a group of drug users in the area who felt “ripped off” and sought help from other drug dealers to confront them.
Following sentencing, DCI Andy Miles, senior investigating officer, said: “This was a lengthy and complex trial involving a number of defendants, and I’m grateful to the jury for the diligence and commitment they showed throughout and for returning verdicts which provide justice for Harry and his devastated family.
“No sentence will ever be long enough for them; Harry was robbed of his future and an opportunity to turn his life around, and his family and friends have been robbed of a much-loved son, brother and friend.
“They have shown tremendous strength and dignity throughout the investigation and subsequent court proceedings and our sympathies remain very much with them as they now try to begin rebuilding their lives.
“The defendants showed a complete disregard for human life on the night of the attack, and that lack of respect and remorse has continued throughout this trial.
“I hope that the substantial sentences handed down to them today affords each of them the time to reflect on the irreversible devastation their callous and violent actions have caused.
“I hope the sentences also send a stark warning to those involved in illegal drug activity and knife crime; tackling such criminality is a priority for South Wales Police and we will be relentless in investigating, tackling and bringing those involved to justice.”
Outside Newport Crown Court, Kelly Huggins, a district crown prosecutor in CPS Cymru-Wales, said: “Unfortunately, another young person has lost their life needlessly as a result of knife crime.
“The CPS presented strong evidence over several weeks showing the shocking level of violence, along with the comments and movements of the defendants immediately after Harry’s death.
“Our thanks are with Harry’s family for their cooperation during the court process and have our sympathies regarding their loss.”