BURON MURDER CASE: Jury finds teenage knifeman guilty of murder

Haydan O'Callaghan

Aaron Buron

First published in News thisisoxfordshire: Photograph of the Author by

A HUGE cheer erupted from family and friends of musician Aaron Buron as teenager Haydan O’Callaghan was convicted of his murder.

As the verdict was read out by the jury, a remorseless O’Callaghan gave Mr Buron’s grieving family the finger and made a gun gesture with his hand.

O’Callaghan, 18, of Saunders Road, East Oxford, had admitted manslaughter, but denied murder throughout the five-day trial at Oxford Crown Court.

The jury of four women and eight men deliberated for just two hours before delivering their unanimous verdict yesterday afternoon.

O’Callaghan stabbed Mr Buron three times through the heart, liver and arm at about 11.20pm on March 31 in St Martin’s Road, just metres from the house Mr Buron shared with his parents.

The teenager had been drinking heavily at Mr Buron’s girlfriend’s house in St Martin’s Road, Rose Hill, earlier in the evening, having already drunk 10 pints of beer and about 15 whisky and cokes at The George pub in Littlemore.

An argument erupted between O’Callaghan and his “on and off” girlfriend of four years Latasha Peck, during which O’Callaghan bit Miss Peck on the head.

Mr Buron, pictured right, his girlfriend Lisa Harris and a group of teenage boys intervened and attempted to get O’Callaghan off his girlfriend, when O’Callaghan leapt up and grabbed a knife from the kitchen.

Mr Buron and the group of teenagers fled the house and O’Callaghan followed, tripping over a bicycle in the front garden before pursuing Mr Buron, who had armed himself with a piece of wood.

O’Callaghan stabbed Mr Buron in the street, leaving the knife in his torso, before later arriving at his home in Saunders Road where he was arrested at 5.30am the following morning.

During the trial, O’Calla-ghan, who was emotionless and calm as he took the stand on Thursday, told the jury that he was “extremely drunk” and that he did not intend to kill Mr Buron.

He claimed he could not remember attacking his girlfriend or stabbing Mr Buron in the street, but accepted that that was what happened.

The trial began on Monday, with the judge summing up the case on Friday morning.

The main issue for the jury was one of intent, as O’Callaghan’s defence was that he had been heavily drinking.

Judge Patrick Eccles told the jury: “Plainly this is a case that an innocent man has lost his young life.

“But you must be careful to keep all your feelings of sympathy out of your mind. A drunken intent is still an intent.”

The jury retired at 12.40pm and came back with the verdict at around 3.40pm, which included a break for lunch.

Judge Eccles decided to defer sentencing until Monday afternoon but did not give a reason why.

O’Callaghan is due to be sentenced at Oxford Crown Court at 2pm.

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