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Dublin: 0 °C Wednesday 23 January, 2019

Homeless man sentenced to life in jail for murdering mother and son in 'brutal attack'

The woman invited the homeless man to stay with her family in their West Midlands home.

A 24-YEAR-old homeless man who murdered a mother and son after the family helped him has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Aaron Barley admitted murdering Tracy Wilkinson and her 13-year-old son Pierce on the first day of his trial at Birmingham Crown Court.

Barley met the woman he would later stab to death when he was sleeping rough and Tracy invited him to stay at the family home in Stourbridge in the West Midlands.

He was given food and shelter. Tracey’s husband, Peter Wilkinson, also gave Barley a job with his building firm and paid for his mobile phone contract.

When Barley failed to turn up for work on a number of occasions his employment was terminated.

After several weeks without contact from Barley Peter cancelled his phone contract. Less than a week later Barley carried out the killings.

On March 29, after an evening of drinking, Barley made his way to the Wilkinson’s home. He failed to break into the house and subsequently he hid in the family’s shed.

West Midlands police shared security camera footage of Barley hiding in the shed overnight on their official Youtube channel.

When morning came he crawled through the garden and broke into the house after Peter left to walk the dog.

High Court judge Mrs Justice Carr described the footage as “chilling”, the BBC reports.

Source: West Midlands Police/YouTube

After entering the home Barley stabbed Tracey to death in her bed and then stabbed Pierce on the landing. The young teenager later died in hospital.

Barley also attacked Mr Wilkinson when he returned home. He inflicted several life threatening injuries and drove off in the family’s car.

Peter, who was bleeding heavily, managed to call emergency services.

Barley was caught by police after he lost control of the stolen car and collided with a garden wall.

“You abused your knowledge of the family home, which you had only gained through the Wilkinsons’ extraordinary kindness and generosity to you,” the judge said to Barley.

Ian Crooks of the Crown Prosecution Service said: “Aaron Barley carried out a brutal attack on his victims who had shown nothing other than the utmost kindness and consideration to him over a number of years.

In return for their support and kindness, Barley waited for the opportunity to gain access to the family home before fatally stabbing Tracey and Pierce and then also stabbing Peter Wilkinson several times.

Barley was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 29 years and 178 days. Mrs Justice Carr warned him that he might never be released from prison.

READ: Family ‘devastated’ as homeless man is charged with murder of mother and son>

READ: Steven Avery denied a request for a new trial>

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Ceimin Burke

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