Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Man Who Killed Teen with Sword Jailed for Life; You Have No Self-Control, Judge Tells Attacker

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Man Who Killed Teen with Sword Jailed for Life; You Have No Self-Control, Judge Tells Attacker

Article excerpt

Byline: By GARRY WILLEY

SWORD killer David Barton was today jailed for life for stabbing a popular teenager to death at a Tyneside park.

Christopher Johnston - nicknamed CJ - lost his life when Barton used the razor-sharp samurai weapon to sever his windpipe and slice straight through his chest.

He later claimed he only brandished the sword to frighten unarmed Christopher after the 19-year-old beat him in a fist fight moments earlier.

But a Newcastle Crown Court jury took only an hour to find him guilty of murder at the end of a trial in September.

And Judge Esmond Faulks today said he was satisfied the 20-year-old, from St Anthony's House, Walker, had intended to kill.

Passing a life sentence with a 16-year minimum term, he told Barton: "You deliberately sought out Christopher Johnston, who was unarmed, to exact revenge.

"Twice you ran him through with that sword, each time using substantial force both to insert and remove it.

"The circumstances of the case suggest you are a young man who is easily provoked to anger and you have no self-control.

"You need to work on those deficits while you are in custody."

Barton - suffering mental health problems and bingeing on 16 cans of lager a day - already had a string of convictions for minor assaults, drunken disorder and carrying a knife when he clashed with Christopher on a field at Ayton Rise, Byker, on the night of April 5.

Christopher, from nearby St Peter's Court, beat him in a brief fight, the jury heard.

But Barton ran to his girlfriend's flat close by, got his sword from its hiding place under a bed, raced back to the field and immediately launched the deadly attack.

Friends saw bare-chested Christopher stand up after the onslaught, take on deep breath and collapse with blood pouring from his horrendous wounds.

Barton fled bloodstained and dumped the sword before later handing himself into police.

He was abusive, aggressive and showed no remorse when he arrived at the station, the court heard. …

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