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Mother admits murdering her two teenage sons

Sarah Barrass sobbed as she also pleaded guilty to plotting to murder four more of her children.

Sketch of Sarah Barrass and Brandon Machin flanked by security staff at Sheffield Crown Court (Elizabeth Cook/PA)
Sketch of Sarah Barrass and Brandon Machin flanked by security staff at Sheffield Crown Court (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

By Dave Higgens, PA

A mother has been told she could be jailed for the rest of her life after she admitted murdering two of her children as well as conspiring to murder four more.

Sarah Barrass, 35, sobbed at Sheffield Crown Court as she pleaded guilty to murdering Tristan and Blake Barrass, aged 13 and 14 respectively.

Barrass also admitted conspiracy to murder six of her children, including Tristan and Blake, and five counts of attempted murder.

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Sarah Barrass has been told she could be jailed for the rest of her life (SYP/PA)

The attempted murder charges relate to four of her children, including Tristan and Blake.

Family member Brandon Machin, 39, also admitted the same charges.

Judge Jeremy Richardson QC told them: “No words of mine can ever fully reflect the enormity of what you have both done.

“The crimes you have committed quite frankly speak for themselves. The murder of two children.

“The attempted murder of four children and the over-arching conspiracy to murder those children.

“I repeat, those crimes speak for themselves. I have little doubt that each of you will in due course be sentenced to several terms of life imprisonment.

“This may well be a case, but it’s a matter for the judge, where a whole life order is imposed.”

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Brandon Machin also admitted murdering Tristan and Blake (SYP/PA)

She was separated from Machin, who showed no emotion, by three security guards.

Barrass had protested her innocence when she appeared in court earlier this year.

When she was produced at the Crown Court for the first time in May, days after the murders, she shouted from the dock: “I didn’t kill my boys. Swear to God.

“I didn’t do it. You will see. Swear to God. You will all f****** see.”

No details were given in court about what happened to the children inside the house in the Shiregreen area of Sheffield on May 24 and May 25 this year.

South Yorkshire Police has never released the cause of the two boys’ death and it was not given when an inquest was opened earlier this year.

The court heard that all of the surviving children are under the age of 13.

According to the charges, the conspiracy to murder the six children took place between May 14 and May 20 and the murders took place on May 24.

The attempted murders of Tristan, Blake and two other children, who cannot be named, took place the day before, on May 23. The pair also attempted to murder one of these children again on May 24.

Both Barrass, of Gregg House Road, Sheffield, and Machin, of Burngreave Road, Sheffield, were remanded in custody.

Police were called to the semi-detached property on Gregg House Road on the morning of May 24 after paramedics, including an air ambulance, were called to the street.

Officers said a “major incident” had happened in the house but have never indicated what they believe happened.

Hundreds of mourners attended Tristan and Blake’s funeral last month.

The boys were taken into the chapel at Grenoside Crematorium, Sheffield, in one white coffin accompanied by an honour guard of 300 motorcycles and two Lamborghini cars.

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Two Lamborghinis and motorbikes escort the funeral cortege arriving at Grenoside Crematorium, Sheffield, prior to the funeral of Tristan and Blake Barrass (Danny Lawson/PA)

The riders answered an appeal after it emerged the teenagers both loved bikes and cars.

Friends and family gave emotional tributes to the brothers during the service.

Matthew Saunders said: “I hope they’re smiling in the sunshine. I hope they’re always together. I hope they’re full of love together.”

Mr Saunders said they were all “trying to make sense out of something that will never make sense”.

Danielle Baines told the mourners: “Words can’t describe how proud I am of these two boys. They were happy, funny, bright boys.

“More importantly, they were caring and polite.”

She said she would remember the “joy and happy times they brought to our lives”.

PA

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