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Christopher Barker jailed for eight years for attacking brother with sword
A WINDOW cleaner has been jailed for eight years for slashing his brother on the head with a three-foot sword in a drunken rage.
Victim David Barker, 47, was so terrified of his brother Christopher, 41, that he visibly shook in the witness box as he told how he was wounded five times with the cavalry sabre, a family heirloom.
At times, the older brother was too overcome to continue and the trial at York Crown Court was halted while he recovered. Recorder Bryan Cox QC paid tribute to his courage.
It was the second time the younger brother had stood trial accused of attacking the older, but the earlier trial collapsed when prosecution witnesses had difficulty giving evidence.
Jailing Christopher Barker for eight years, Recorder Bryan Cox QC said had attacked his brother in a “ferocious” rage.
“It required courage on his part to give evidence,” he said. “I don’t believe that you believed that your brother would have the courage to give evidence. I have observed a degree of arrogance on your part.”
Speaking after the sentence, Det Con Nicholas Lane of North Yorkshire Police’s Protection of Vulnerable People’s Unit, (PVPU) said: “Christopher Barker is clearly a very dangerous individual and that is reflected in the judge’s comments and the length of sentence he imposed on him. It was only good fortune that the level of injuries was not more serious.”
He said the PVPU would “robustly” investigate domestic violence cases and warned of the danger of swords kept as family heirlooms and which if used could lead to “unforeseen consequences”.
Christopher Barker, who told the jury he was living with a friend in Brownlow Street, The Groves, denied wounding with intent, but was convicted after the jury had retired for two hours.
Earlier, he had claimed in evidence he had not touched the sword.
He told the jury he had been dancing to rock ‘n’ roll music and drinking with his mother at her home in New Lane, Huntington, on November 25, when his brother David arrived with a friend at about 4am.
He claimed the younger brother had taken steroids and could be volatile and tempers had flared when their mother fell over.
Christopher Barker accused David of punching him in the head and hitting him five or six times, a claim disputed by prosecution witness who said Christopher Barker had fallen over.
The younger brother claimed he escaped outside to call the police but when he returned inside his brother was holding the sword and “tried to go for” him.
Christopher Barker denied making the wounds on his brother, claiming they were inflicted when he pushed David in self-defence and the older brother fell on the oven.