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Brothers jailed for total of 44 years for revenge murder of man killed in street

A pair of brothers have been jailed for a total of 44 years over a “chilling” revenge murder in which a man was stabbed to death in the street following a conflict over drugs.

Siblings Omar Ishaq and Kearon Barker attacked Keith Harrower, 40, outside a Premier store in Leeds on December 12, 2019.

Mr Harrower died within an hour of the attack.

Leeds Crown Court was shown CCTV footage that captured Ishaq, 34, approaching his victim from behind and thrusting a knife into his neck.

Drug dealer Barker, 31, could be seen distracting Mr Harrower moments before the attack.

Ishaq and Barker denied murder but they were both found guilty at the end of a three-week trial.

Judge Andrew Stubbs QC, sentencing yesterday, described the evidence against the defendants as “chilling”.

He handed both men life sentences with minimum 22-year terms.

Judge Stubbs told the court he was satisfied the killing was linked to a conflict over drugs.

The court heard Barker, from Leeds, was in charge of a drug supply line called ‘Kinky’, selling drugs to users in south Leeds.

Mr Harrower, a drug user, was in conflict with those running the line in the days before his death, it was heard.

The father-of-five told a friend he robbed those involved with the line of several hundred pounds and that people were looking for him.

Mr Harrower contacted Barker on the day of his death and was ‘lured’ to the area believing he was going to buy drugs.

The brothers then lay in wait for Mr Harrower before carrying out the attack, it was heard.

Judge Stubbs said: “The CCTV footage is chilling and compelling evidence that you Barker engaged him in conversation so he was completely unaware of Omar Ishaq.”

The Judge described how Ishaq, also from Leeds, then inflicted the fatal blow which severed an artery in Mr Harrower’s neck.

Ishaq then stood back and adopted a “boxer’s stance” in case he needed to carry out a further strike, it was heard.

Judge Stubbs said the killing had had a devastating impact on Mr Harrower’s five children and other family members who were already grieving over the recent death of a family member.

Ishaq and Barker attempted to flee the country after the killing.

They travelled to Hull intending the catch a ferry to Amsterdam but returned to West Yorkshire as Ishaq did not have a passport.

The Judge also praised the public-spirited efforts of a woman who stopped her car to try to help Mr Harrower as he was fatally injured

She was awarded £250 from public funds.

After the case, Detective Chief Inspector Emma Winfield, of West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said: “Keith Harrower’s family have been left absolutely devastated at his death in such sudden and violent circumstances.

“Barker and Ishaq plotted revenge against him and deliberately lured him to the scene where he was stabbed, causing catastrophic injuries that were not survivable.

“There can never be any justification for those who seek to settle their differences with extreme violence such as this.

“We hope that Keith’s family can find some measure of consolation in knowing that the people responsible have been brought to justice and given life sentences.”