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article imageMan imprisoned for life for Sydenham murder

By Alexander Baron     Aug 11, 2011 in Crime
Last September, a man was stabbed to death in Sydenham; this week, his killer was sent to prison for life after a jury rejected his defence of provocation.
In the past two years there have been two high profile murders in Sydenham: the first, in May last year, in which a teenage boy was murdered by a gang in Home Park; the third, which is to date unsolved, was of a 24 year old University of Greenwich student.
Sandwiched between them is a sordid murder that generated hardly any publicity. Norman Barrett, a man of 46, was stabbed to death at his home in Lucas Court, Lower Sydenham, by a somewhat younger man, 29 year old Tobi Henry.
The official police mugshot of Tobi Henry  who murdered Norman Barrett in September 2010.
The official police mugshot of Tobi Henry, who murdered Norman Barrett in September 2010.
Metropolitan Police
The exact nature of their relationship remains unclear, though at trial, Henry claimed to have killed the older man in self-defence after Barrett had made homosexual advances towards him. The jury rejected both self-defence and provocation; it can’t have helped Henry’s defence that initially he pleaded ignorance of the attack, but the police were called to Mr Barrett’s home around 3am after a neighbour heard the two men fighting. When they arrived, they found Mr Barrett dead, and Henry covered in blood. The victim suffered a fractured skull as well as twenty stab wounds to his neck and body.
It may be there was no sexual motive to the crime; according to his niece, Mr Barrett was “a proud father whose son is still having sleepless nights and is still mortified that he will never see his father again.”
Although the age of Norman Barrett’s son is not given, he is obviously young. Whatever Henry’s real motive, this appears to be yet another of those tragic, senseless crimes of which we hear every day. Whatever, he has the next seventeen years to contemplate his folly; that was the tariff handed down by Judge Stephen Kramer QC at the Central Criminal Court on August 8 after passing the mandatory life sentence.
More about Norman Barrett, Tobi Henry, Murder, Sydenham
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