Terence Barry found guilty of conspiracy to murder Gravesend’s Leonard Naylor in 2001
PUBLISHED: 14:24 25 October 2017
Mr Naylor died from multiple gunshot wounds after a masked hitman opened fire on the driveway of his home in Bracondale Avenue, Istead Rise
A man who fled to Spain following the shooting of a Gravesend resident almost 17 years ago has been found guilty of conspiracy to murder.
Leonard Naylor, who was 46 at the time, died from multiple gunshot wounds after a masked hitman opened fire on the driveway of his home in Bracondale Avenue, Istead Rise, in April 2001.
Cold case investigators from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate continued to review the evidence in the years that followed, and in early 2017 presented a case to the Crown Prosecution Service for charges to be brought against four men they believed to have been involved in Mr Naylor’s death.
Terence Barry, 44, of no fixed address, was subsequently charged with conspiracy to murder and was convicted following a lengthy trial at Blackfriars Crown Court, south-east London, on Wednesday.
Robert Blackwell, 52, from Plaistow, London, and David Carvell, 52, from Colchester in Essex, were both found not guilty by the jury while the case against a fourth suspect was dismissed at an earlier hearing.
Detectives discovered that preparations for Mr Naylor’s murder began in January 2001, when they believe Barry was recruited to help carry out the offence.
A number of vehicles were purchased at this time, including two used during the attack on Mr Naylor, using false names and addresses.
These vehicles were driven into Kent on a number of occasions during the five days prior to the murder, which were believed to have either been dry runs or missed opportunities.
On Wednesday, April 18 2001, Mr Naylor drove to his home in Bracondale Avenue, parked his car on the driveway and got out.
A masked man then approached him from a small van that had stopped at the address and shot him four times at close range.
The killer then returned to the van, which was driven away by an accomplice. The vehicle was later found abandoned and burnt out nearby, with a separate car used by the offenders to leave the county.
Barry, who was known as Terrence Richardson at the time, then fled to Spain before returning to the UK in 2013.
Enquiries into Mr Naylor’s murder recommenced when detectives learned he was back in the country, and he was arrested with the other suspects on March 7 this year after warrants were executed at a number of properties in Essex.
Senior investigating officer detective inspector Ivan Beasley said: “This has been a very difficult and complex investigation and I am pleased that the long hours and hard work put in by the cold case team has paid off with the conviction of Terence Barry.
“I am pleased for the family of Mr Naylor that Barry will now spend a considerable length of time in prison, having spent the last 16 years not knowing if anyone would ever be held responsible.
“I hope this conviction sends a strong message that no case is ever truly closed and that there is ultimately no hiding place from the law. Kent Police does not tolerate people who come into the county to commit crime of any type, let alone an offence as serious as this.”
Barry’s sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.