A father whose wife and son were murdered by a drug addict who they offered a home has said: “I should have never let the b*****d near my family.”
Peter Wilkinson’s wife Tracey, 50, and son Pierce, 13 were both murdered by Aaron Barley in a knife attack at their home in Stourbridge, West Mids.
Barley was jailed for life yesterday with a minimum of 30 years after admitting the murders. He also left Mr Wilkinson for dead in his attack.
The family offered him a home, and helped him find work. However their kindness was betrayed when Barley prowled through their garden before sneaking inside to kill Tracey as she slept.
Mr Wilkinson told the Sun how he returned home from walking the dog when Barley burst from a cupboard screaming: “Just die you bastard.”
“Tracey took him in and we bent over backwards to help him and get him out of the gutter and on his feet.
“But this is how the evil piece of scum repaid us.
“Tracey was a real Good Samaritan and an inspirational person who was literally killed for her kindness.”
“I will feel guilty for the rest of my life for letting this man get so close to my family.”
Peter’s daughter Lydia, 19, only escaped because she had moved out to study at Bristol University. She said: “There is not a doubt in my mind he would have killed me as well if I had been home.”
Chilling footage captured Barley lurking in the Wilkinson family’s garden in dark clothing hours before the attack on March 30.
Jailing Barley, Mrs Justice Carr said he had carried out “a vicious and unprovoked attack” in the home where he had once been welcomed.
She added that he had gone to the house, and “lay in wait” in the garden before creeping inside the unlocked home, going upstairs and launching a “violent and sustained assault, involving severe force”.
The 24-year-old, sitting in the dock at Birmingham Crown Court on Wednesday, did not react when told he “may never be released”, after admitting two counts of murder and another of attempted murder.
The judge told Barley: “You abused your knowledge of the family home, which you had only gained through the Wilkinsons’ extraordinary kindness and generosity to you.
“Mrs Wikinson and Pierce, only 13, were in bed at home, where they were entitled to feel and should have been safe.
“You have shown no remorse – indeed only regret that Mr Wilkinson survived his injuries and at times satisfaction in what you did achieve.
“You knew that you were destroying the family. It is what you intended.
“Your conduct involved a very significant degree of planning and premeditation, at least so far as the attack on Mr Wilkinson was concerned.
“You broke into the grounds of the house in the very early hours. You emerged from the garden in black disguise, even covering your coloured trainers with black socks.”
The judge added: “The Wilkinson family, and in particular Mrs Wilkinson, had done nothing but their best to help you.
“Mr and Mrs Wilkinson were both financially and emotionally generous to you.
“You betrayed their trust in every way, exploiting the knowledge of their household.”
She said: “It is difficult to imagine what went through Mrs Wilkinson and Pierce’s minds when you attacked them but they must have been bewildered and terrified.
“One of them, at least, must have been aware of the stabbing of the other.”
Barley had been taken in by the family, after 50-year-old Mrs Wilkinson spotted him sleeping rough at a supermarket in the spring of 2016.
They helped the unemployed cannabis-smoker get accommodation, fed him, and paid for a mobile phone contract.
Mr Wilkinson, 47, even got him a job at one of his businesses in Newport, south Wales.
But Barley left his role without notice after falsely claiming his mother had died.
In October last year, Mr Wilkinson returned home from work to find Barley sleeping on his driveway, after which the family briefly allowed him to stay with them before the council found alternative housing.
Less than a week before the stabbings, the Wilkinsons cancelled the mobile phone contract.
The judge then described the “chilling” security camera footage, recovered from the family home, showing Barley “crawling” on all fours around the Wilkinsons’ back garden moments before attacking.
The judge said Mr Wilkinson and his 19-year-old daughter Lydia – away at university at the time of the attack – had been left with “understandable anger” and distress over remorseless Barley’s actions.
On Tuesday, after Barley first admitted the killings, Bristol University student Miss Wilkinson faced him down in court, telling him: “I will never forgive you.”
On Wednesday, the judge praised the young woman for reading her statement with “maturity and courage well beyond her years”.
Turning to Barley for sentence, she told him she had decided not to impose a whole-life tariff “principally because of your youth”.
“You clearly represent a very significant risk of serious harm to members of the public,” she said, adding: “No sentence, of course, will ever bring Mrs Wilkinson and Pierce back to their family and friends.”
Source: Evening Standard
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