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What Harry Baker’s mum said after son’s killers sentenced

THE MOTHER of a teenager who was killed after a drugs row has spoken about the impact of the trial on her family.

Harry Baker, aged 17, from Cardiff, was stabbed nine times at Barry Docks in August 2019.

Leon Clifford, 23, Peter McCarthy, 37, Leon Symons, 23, and Brandon Liversidge, 17, have all been convicted of Harry’s murder.

Judge Justice Picken lifted reporting restrictions on naming Liversidge, also known as Brandon Diamond.

Barry And District News: Harry Baker, 17, who was subjected to a "swift, brutal and merciless attack" where he was stabbed to death by a gang of rival drug dealers, a court heard.Harry Baker, 17, who was subjected to a “swift, brutal and merciless attack” where he was stabbed to death by a gang of rival drug dealers, a court heard.

Clifford, Symons and McCarthy were all sentenced to life in prison. Symons will serve 28 years before being considered for release, while Clifford will serve 27 years and McCarthy 23.

Liversidge was detained because he was under 18 at the time but will have to spend at least 20 years in custody.

Raymond Thompson, 48, Ryan Palmer, 34 and Lewis Evans, 62, were convicted of manslaughter by the jury at Newport Crown Court, and will serve six, 11 and four years respectively.

Barry And District News: Composite image of undated handout photos issued by South Wales Police of (top row, left to right) Brandon Liversidge, 17, Ryan Palmer, 34, and Raymond Thompson, 48, (bottom, left to right) Peter McCarthy, 38, Lewis Evans, 62, Leon Symons, 22, and Leon Clifford, 23. The seven men have been sentenced at newport Crown Court to total of 119 years in custody for the August 2019 murder of 17-year-old Harry Baker following a dispute over drugs. Issue date: Monday March 29, 2021.Composite image of undated handout photos issued by South Wales Police of (top row, left to right) Brandon Liversidge, 17, Ryan Palmer, 34, and Raymond Thompson, 48, (bottom, left to right) Peter McCarthy, 38, Lewis Evans, 62, Leon Symons, 22, and Leon Clifford, 23. The seven men have been sentenced at newport Crown Court to total of 119 years in custody for the August 2019 murder of 17-year-old Harry Baker following a dispute over drugs. Issue date: Monday March 29, 2021.

Outside court on Monday afternoon, Harry’s mother Emma Baker addressed her son’s killers, those who she says obstructed the trial, and those who supported them in their efforts to bring the criminals to justice.

‘Much more than a boy you heard about on the news’

“Today’s sentencing has concluded what has been a hugely traumatic experience for us as a family.

“To sit in court daily and see the people responsible for robbing us of our beloved Harry showing utter contempt and no remorse has made the worst experience of our lives all the more difficult to deal with.

“But there are so many people we would like to thank for getting us to this point.

“Our family liaison officer Steve has been an absolute god-send; there from the very beginning when we learned of Harry’s brutal and senseless death.

“We would like to thank Nicole, another family liaison officer who after leaving South Wales Police continued to support us at To Wish Upon A Star.

“No family should have to go through what we have, but To Wish really are invaluable.

“Thank you to everyone at South Wales Police and at the Crown Prosecution Service. We thank you for all your hard work to bring Harry’s killers to justice.

“To the jury, who listened carefully during what was a difficult, long and complex trial – thank you for making the right decision and for helping us achieve justice for our son.

Barry And District News: Harry Baker's family and friends release balloons on the steps of Newport Crown Court (Image: Chris Fairweather/Huw Evans Agency)Harry Baker’s family and friends release balloons on the steps of Newport Crown Court (Image: Chris Fairweather/Huw Evans Agency)

“We have been overwhelmed by the support shown, not only by family and friends but also the wider community and people we’ve never met.

“The pandemic stopped loved ones from attending court to support us like in the first trial. To know so many of you were there in spirit really did give us strength to keep going.

“To the select few who did the right thing in coming forward in helping the investigation, we also thank you.

“To those who didn’t and those who could have helped Harry, including people who had the audacity to call themselves friends and family, shame on you. We hope you can live with the decisions you’ve made.

“This should have never happened to us, we’re a normal hard-working family and Harry is a boy adored by all who knew him.

“We wouldn’t wish what happened to us or Harry on our worst enemy.

Barry And District News: Harry Baker's parents Emma and Peter Baker outside Newport Crown Court (Image: Chris Fairweather/Huw Evans Agency)Harry Baker’s parents Emma and Peter Baker outside Newport Crown Court (Image: Chris Fairweather/Huw Evans Agency)

“We don’t have the answers, but we do have so many unanswered questions.

“To every parent, please talk to your children, do your research, engage with education services, call for more to be done to educate our children and ourselves about this dangerous world we’re all so naive to.

“The so-called men who killed my son have robbed him of the chance to turn his life around. Harry knew he had started to go down the wrong path, and he knew he was out of his depth, but he was young, and he has a family that love him dearly.

“He could have fixed his mistakes and chosen the right path, sadly he will never get that opportunity.

“Harry is much more than the boy you heard about on the news; he’s our boy, our first son, an adored brother, grandson and loyal friend to so many. A bright happy boy with so much good about him.

Barry And District News:

“When laid to rest we gave family and friends sunflower seeds to plant in his memory, and last year we were inundated with pictures of sunflowers in full bloom.

“It gave us such comfort to know how well thought of Harry is – the real Harry.

“Every time we are sent pictures of someone saying they ‘saw this and thought of Harry’ it makes us proud – proud he is our son and touched so many lives.

“We will forever be grateful for him and cherish the memories we have together as a family.

“Harry, you will forever be our sunshine.”

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