Unsolved Murders

John Lee Barrett

Age: 31

Sex: male

Date: 27 Dec 2011

Place: Sinclairs Bar, Drake Street, Rochdale

John Lee Barrett was stabbed at a Christmas Eve party at Sinclair's Bar and nightclub on Drake Street, Rochdale at around 2.40am on 25 December 2011 and died two days later.

Twelve people in 2013 were convicted for lesser offences but no one was convicted of his murder. Six men were initially charged with his murder but acquitted although convicted of lesser offences whilst six other men were charged with lesser offences, but not murder, and also convicted. It was heard that the man that had stabbed John Barrett could not be identified.

However, the murder weapon was later found in the club by the police.

One of the men that was jailed for violent disorder in connection with his murder and sentenced to 30 months in prison in March 2013 was later killed in January 2015 and in December 2015 a man was convicted of his manslaughter. He was stabbed during a disturbance on Charles Street in Manchester city centre outside the RBase club and taken to hospital where he later died.

John Barrett was attacked in a function room at the bar in the early hours of 25 December 2011 which was being used for a private fashion show and dance for the Afro-Caribbean community. Witnesses said that a group of about twenty men had stormed the club and that they were like a swarm of bees and a pack of wolves.

He had been punched, kicked and attacked with a variety of weapons including bottles, glasses, metal poles and ropes with metal attached to them after he accidentally bumped into the group. He was also stabbed in the chest whilst on the dance floor.

By the time the police had arrived, many of the people that had been involved in the fighting had been thrown out by the club bouncers and had run away.

It was said that many of the people that were convicted for the lesser offences were members of the Moss Side Bloods gang which was connected with the Doddington Gang.

John Barrett was from Harpurhey. It was noted that he had been a former drug dealer and had served three years of a six-year prison sentence for his part in running a cocaine packaging factory at a flat in Cheetham Hill, Manchester. He was convicted of conspiracy to supply class A drugs and possession with intent to supply class A drugs. He was arrested after the police saw him pulling up to a flat he owned in a Mercedes car. When they went into the flat they found a drugs press for moulding 1kg blocks of cocaine, scales and a food blender with traces of cocaine on it as well as a self-loading pistol wrapped in a plastic carrier bag hidden in a utility cupboard. Later at his home police found 51 grams of heroin worth over £5k.

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