Sixth youth, 15, arrested in connection with Hemsby murder
18:16 12 May 2014
Archant Norfolk 2014
Poilce have arrested a sixth teenager as part of their enquiries into the murder of a 20-year-old in Hemsby.
Connor Barrett, of Abyssinia Road, Great Yarmouth, was stabbed while at a party in the Glebe, Hemsby, on Saturday night. It is believed there was an altercation about half an hour before he was fatally injured.
Four youths, aged 15, 16, 17, and 18, were arrested close to the scene on Saturday, while a fifth, 17, was arrested on Monday afternoon.
The sixth, a 15-year-old male from the Yarmouth area, was arrested later on Monday night on suspicion of murder. He is currently in custody at Yarmouth Police Investigation Centre.
Earlier today magistrates granted a warrant of further detention in respect of the four teenagers arrested at the weekend, giving police until tomorrow afternoon to continue their questioning.
Speaking earlier from outside the Yarmouth station detective chief inspector Paul Durham, who is leading the murder investigation, said Mr Barrett had died of a stab wound.
It is believed he was assaulted with a knife or other bladed weapon which has not yet been found. DCI Durham said finding the weapon remains a priority.
Uniformed officers and forensic teams remain at the scene in Hemsby where violence erupted at a family gathering.
Officers were called to a property in The Glebe, a quiet residential street close to the beach amusements and seafront, at about 11.25pm following reports of a disturbance.
Mr Barrett was found with serious chest and back injuries and was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the James Paget University Hospital.
DCI Durham said all those at the party were known to each other, adding those who have been arrested were not ‘gatecrashers’ and may have been invited to the gathering via Facebook.
He said: “There has been a suggestion there might have been an earlier altercation about half an hour before the incident.
“We believe this to be an isolated incident with a tragic outcome.
“This type of crime doesn’t happen often in Norfolk and certainly not in Hemsby and so we understand that it does have the capacity to shock local communities.
“However, I want to reassure people that although this is a fast moving enquiry, we have already made significant progress.”
He appealed for more information specifically around the incident, adding: “We know there was some sort of altercation shortly after 11pm and Connor was assaulted at a point after this.
“Tracing the weapon or weapons used will be a priority for the investigation moving forward and we continue our work to trace and speak to people who attended the party.”
Neighbours, who reported hearing a commotion late on Saturday night, spoke of their shock after it emerged a man had died.
Douglas Lyhane, who has lived in the area for the last 16 years, said: “This is normally a quiet plot around here, but there was quite a commotion with people running up and down and we saw a young chap start to cry. A policewoman came up later and said someone had been stabbed.”
“We keep ourselves to ourselves and after this I think more people will do that – it is a crying shame. It does not happen here – most people are retired or getting on a bit and you do not expect anything like that.”
Another resident, who declined to be named, said: “It is such a quiet street and a nice place. Police were running up and down The Glebe and the helicopter was up. It is such a shame that someone has died.”
More than 50 detectives, officers and staff are currently working on the case.
In tributes on Facebook, friends and family described Mr Barrett as a young man with a ‘heart of gold’ and his whole life ahead of him.
The former Great Yarmouth High School student leaves a three-year-old son.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact the Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team in Norfolk on 101 or, alternatively, pass information anonymously via the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555111.