Barrass family friend pays tribute to ‘beautiful, confident and outgoing boys’

A family friend has described outside court how Tristan and Blake Barrass were “beautiful, confident and outgoing boys who both had a bright future ahead of them”.

Matthew Saunders said that a “piece of all our hearts died” when the two teenagers were murdered by their parents Sarah Barrass, 35, and her 39-year-old half-brother Brandon Machin.

He said of the two children: “Blake and Tristan leave a huge empty void in all our lives, and we did not get the chance to say goodbye.

“We are relieved justice has been served, but it should never have come to this.”

Mr Saunders added: “Blake and Tristan (pictured) were two beautiful, confident and outgoing boys, who both had a bright future ahead of them.

“We cannot put into words the pain and emptiness we feel, but we find some comfort in knowing Blake and Tristan will always be remembered, and how loved both boys were.”

The friend also thanked the emergency services who attended on the day that Tristan and Blake died.

Standing outside court following the sentencing, Edmund Hulbert, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “This was an appalling crime in which two young lives were lost, and a family torn apart, leaving a community in shock.

“Two of the surviving children witnessed their older siblings being attacked and the trauma that all the children have experienced, and will continue to experience, is unimaginable.

“It is paramount now that the surviving children are allowed to rebuild their lives in peace.”

Chief Superintendent Stuart Barton, from South Yorkshire Police, thanked the officers who had been involved in investigating the case.

He added: “Incidents like this are, fortunately, very rare. Sheffield is a place where we look after each other, we care for each other and the community is at our heart.”

John Macilwraith, the executive director of people services at Sheffield City Council, said the Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership has initiated a serious case review into events at the home in Sheffield.

He said: “This is such a tragic and, we hope, isolated case that it is vital to examine every aspect in order to establish what can be learned to inform the development of future professional practice.”

Copyright (c) PA Media Ltd. 2019, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) South Yorkshire Police / PA Wire.