Died 25th October 2012
Jean Farrar (77) died on 25th October 2012 after being attacked at her home in Brentford, west London. She lived alone and was registered blind. Her date of birth was 1st May 1935. She was frail, partially sighted and forgetful.
In June 2013 at the Old Bailey, Daniel Barnett (20) of Holly House, Brentford was found guilty of her brutal murder. He has been jailed for at least 32 years. Police said he was a serial burglar and was trying to steal from her home.
In 23rd January 2014 Barnett appealed to have his sentence shortened at the Royal Courts of Justice, challenging the judge’s finding that he had attacked Ms Farrar then returned to continue kicking her. Mr Justice Globe, sitting with Lord Justice Laws and Judge Paul Batty QC, said there was no justifiable basis for cutting his sentence. Mr Justice Globe described how Barnett jumped up and down on Ms Farrar’s head until she stopped screaming.
Jean Farrar’s daughter, Kiki Farrar and granddaughter, Toyah Farrar, expressed relief that the appeal was dismissed, saying it brought some closure, although it could not bring her back.
Ms Farrar’s daughter, Kiki Farrar, said: “Our family is extremely thankful that the appeal against Daniel Barnett’s sentence was dismissed and that his life sentence with a minimum term of 32 years imprisonment remains. We now hope that the conclusion of these proceedings will allow us to try and move on with our lives although nothing will ever make up for the tragic loss of our loved one who was so cruelly taken from us. We found out he had applied for an appeal in December so it’s been hanging over us and ruined Christmas, we’re just so glad he’ll be in there until he’s 52-years-old. We would like to add our thanks to Mr Peter Wright QC, the police investigation team and all others who were involved for all their help in bringing this case to a successful conclusion.”
She added that everybody in Brentford misses her mother who was often seen wheeling her bicycle down to her beloved Watermans Centre or to Jenny’s Cafe in Brentford High Street.
Ms Farrar was found suffering from severe head injuries after police were called to reports of a disturbance in Brook Road South, Brentford. She was kicked and stamped on by Barnett when she caught him in her home. He continued until she stopped moving, leaving her virtually unrecognisable. Michael Poyser heard loud shouting and crashing from Ms Farrar’s home as he walked home, the Old Bailey heard. He witnessed part of the attack through the window and called the police. Prosecutor Peter Wright QC told the court: “He could see two figures in the hallway through the frosted glass panels. He saw the man throw the woman against the walls of the hallway several times. The woman was screaming in pain. The man then threw the woman against the front door and she fell to the floor. As Mr Poyser stood watching the events he saw the woman begin jumping on the woman and kicking her repeatedly until the screaming stopped.” Barnett fled but was arrested nearby with blood all over his hands, trousers and trainers.
At the original trial, Judge John Bevan QC described it as a “vicious and cowardly” attack and said he had never before seen such horrific injuries. The judge said: “The victim was a frail 77-year-old woman who was entitled to be given the respect due to the elderly in society.” He added “You argued with her, brought her to the ground and kicked and stamped on her face in a gratuitous, vicious and cowardly attack on a totally defenceless victim and then continued investigating whether there was anything worth stealing before returning to finish her off with another kicking and stamping. You are an aggressive, bad- tempered, cowardly young man who has no respect for his elders and, in this case, much betters.”
Ms Farrar’s family paid tribute to “the kindest and most gentle person we ever knew”.
In an emotional impact statement read to the court, Ms Farrar’s son Jamie described the loss of his mother as “immeasurable”. He said: “Our family’s sense of pain and horror over losing my mother in such a violent and brutal way is indescribable. She was passionate, funny, eccentric but above all loving. Jean loved life and would share this love with all those she talked to. Daniel Barnett did not need to enter my mother’s house that night. He chose to. Upon finding my mum at home, he easily could have left. Instead he chose to beat her and throw her against the wall. And when she screamed in pain, he chose to kick her, stamp on her, and jump on her head until she was unable to scream any more. The attack that Daniel Barnett carried out on my mum was barbaric, and he has not displayed any signs of remorse or taken any responsibility since. He attacked a frail, clinically blind, vulnerable 77-year-old woman in her own home. A woman who had no chance of defending herself. He showed her no mercy. He showed her no compassion. The pain, the emptiness and the guilt that we live with every day is something that can only be felt, not described.”
Mr Farrar said Jean Farrar had been a seamstress for the royal family, a model and an actress who once starred alongside Roger Moore in an episode of The Saint. She also reportedly acted as a double for Hayley Mills. In a statement he said: “Over the course of this trial we’ve heard the excruciating details of my mum’s death, but we have heard almost nothing about her extraordinary life.” Her family said: ‘We can only hope that in her dying moments she was comforted by the immense love we had for her and all of the moments that she gave us’
The investigation was led by the Homicide and Serious Crime Command (HSCC) under Detective Chief Inspector Russell Taylor. DCITaylor said: “This was a horrendous attack on a vulnerable woman who lived alone. It was clear that Barnett targeted the address with a view to steal property. This was a mindless, cowardly and unnecessarily cruel attack on an elderly lady in her own home.” Barnett was described as a serial burglar.
Note: This report was drawn from reports in the BBC, the Hounslow Chronicle, get West London and Murder Maps.