Face of 'brutal' murderer who fatally stabbed 'funny and caring' fiancé near his family home in Harlow

Tieran Carmody was convicted of murdering Max Richardson in Harlow last August
Tieran Carmody was convicted of murdering Max Richardson in Harlow last August -Credit:Essex Police

This is the face of a "brutal" murderer who fatally stabbed a husband-to-be just metres from his home. Max Richardson, 35, was stabbed to death on August 21 last year by killer Tieran Carmody, 19, close to a children's park in Harlow.

Carmody, of Berecroft in Harlow, was 18 when he fatally attacked Mr Richardson. The victim, who was a dad and due to get married, had quizzed the killer on what he was doing close to his home after children had been left feeling uncomfortable and scared..

Mr Richardson's family sat united as one, listening to almost all of the evidence during an emotional four-week trial at Chelmsford Crown Court. The cannabis-smoking killer attacked Max "with a forceful blow without any warning", prosecutors said.

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Carmody and Barnett showed no emotion as the guilty verdict was read to the court after seven hours of deliberation. The killer patted his head and ran fingers through his hair whilst people in the public gallery began to cry.

Carmody attacked Mr Richardson after he and a number of other adults approached the defendant to ask him about his presence on Joyners Field. An altercation ensued with Mr Richardson being punched and knocked to the floor.

Max Richardson
Max Richardson -Credit:Essex Police

The murderer retrieved a large knife from his bag, approached Mr Richardson - who by now had his hands up in a surrendering motion - and fatally attacked him. After the fatal attack, Carmody cycled away and spent the night at home. Carmody then travelled around the county and interacted with his friend Harrison Barnett, also 19, of St Mary's Crescent in Basildon. Barnett was convicted by the jury of perverting the course of justice.

Barnett was described by the prosecution as being “quite willing to help with some effort". They were caught on CCTV at a shop in Pitsea and leaving a pub in Benfleet in the days following the murder.

On Barnett's phone searches for news articles and police appeals about the stabbing were found. A further internet search queried how a person could leave the country without a passport. Judge Gratwicke said Carmody had been convicted of the "brutal murder" of Mr Richardson. Mr Richardson's family said he was "the life and soul of us all".

In a statement after his death, they said: "[He will] always be in the hearts of his family and his children who miss him dearly. Words cannot describe the pain we are all feeling right now. He will be solely remembered for the person that he was. Funny, caring and always there for his young children. Rest in peace now our beloved Max, always and forever in our thoughts and hearts."

Detective Chief Inspector Ashley Howard said the Richardsons had lost a "family man" in the "most cruel and needless fashion". They added: "Max had everything ahead of him. He was due to be married. Instead, he was killed for simply caring about the safety of his neighbourhood. He died because Carmody chose to carry a large knife with him, a knife Carmody stated he carried for safety, however it was this weapon he used to murder a stranger.

Tieran Carmody pictured on CCTV inside a convenience store after the murder
Tieran Carmody pictured on CCTV inside a convenience store after the murder -Credit:Essex Police

"Carmody murdered Max for no other reason than he felt affronted that someone had dared to stand up to him. He stabbed Max deliberately and with purpose, intending to cause at the very least, serious harm to his victim.

"Nothing will give Max’s family their loved son, fiancé, father, brother and friend back. They have been supported throughout our investigation and the trial by specialist family liaison officers, but they must in their own way each now come to terms with a future without Max.

"Hopefully, they can draw some small amount of solace from the knowledge his killer has been brought to justice. Right from the outset of this investigation, when we received a call reporting Max had been seriously assaulted, a dedicated team of officers and staff were committed to apprehending the person responsible.

"There is never a good reason to carry a knife in public, particularly a knife of this horrifying nature, and no world in which it can be justified. Carmody has forever blighted the life of his victim’s family, but he has also ruined his own life. He can rightly expect to spend many years behind bars."

Barnett and Carmody were remanded into custody for sentencing at a later date.