Teenager found guilty of 'brutal' murder of 'defenceless' dad near Harlow children's park

Max Richardson
Max Richardson -Credit:Essex Police

A teenager who brutally stabbed a “defenceless” dad in Harlow has been convicted of murder. Tieran Carmody, 19, was found guilty of killing father Max Richardson yards from a play park after a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court.

Carmody, of Berecroft in Harlow, who was 18 at the time of the fatal stabbing on August 21 last year, showed no emotion as the jury of men and five women delivered their verdict. Mr Richardson died on the way to hospital after suffering a single stab wound having confronted Carmody and asked him what he was doing close to his home on Joyners Field.

Prosecutor Andrew Jackson told jurors the killer had attacked “with a forceful blow without any warning”. Elizabeth Marsh, defence for Carmody, said the killer had been “minding his own business” in the lead-up to the attack.

READ MORE: Urgent search for missing elderly man last seen in Chigwell as police 'worried' for his welfare

ALSO READ: Man stabbed in the chest in Basildon as police launch attempted murder investigation

Chelmsford Crown Court was told a group of adults, including Mr Richardson, had questioned Carmody about his presence near to the back of their homes on Joyners Field in Harlow. An altercation ensued with Mr Richardson being punched and knocked to the ground.

Carmody then retrieved a machete from his bag, approached Mr Richardson and fatally attacked him. Emergency services were called to the scene but he passed away whilst being transported to hospital. Carmody cycled away and spent the night at home. He then travelled around the county and engaged with his friend Harrison Barnett, of St Mary's Crescent in Basildon.

CCTV footage of Tieran Carmody
CCTV footage of Tieran Carmody -Credit:Essex Police/EssexLive

Barnett, 19, was convicted by the jury of perverting the course of justice by allowing Carmody to avoid arrest for six days. Jurors took less than seven hours to reach their guilty verdicts.

Barnett was described by the prosecution as being “quite willing to help with some effort”. Analysis of a phone registered to him found internet searches for news coverage of Mr Richardson’s death as well as a search for places that someone could travel to without a passport.

Mr Jackson, opening the case, had told jurors: “At the point Carmody chose to arm himself with that lethal machete that he had taken with him that night, he chose quite deliberately to kill Max Richardson or cause him very serious harm.

Police forensic teams in Joyners Field, Harlow after a man was stabbed to death
Police forensic teams in Joyners Field, Harlow after a man was stabbed to death -Credit:Essex Police

“This was not done in self-defence as there was no attack and there had never been one. There was no need for him to defend himself. It was a calculated decision to show that no-one should question Carmody about what he was doing. It was an act of revenge.”

Judge Gratwicke said Carmody had carried out the “brutal murder” of Mr Richardson. He told the defendant: “I say nothing further aside from that you, I suspect will no doubt have been advised, will be serving a sentence of life imprisonment. I’m adjourning the sentencing to ensure that I have information to give a sentence that you deserve.”

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