Aaron Barley jailed for life for the murder of mother and son

04/10/2017

A 24-year-old homeless man has today been sentenced to life imprisonment, to serve a minimum term of 29 years, at Birmingham Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to the murder of a mother and son at their family home in Stourbridge.

Aaron Barley had met Tracey Wilkinson when he was sleeping rough in Stourbridge and she invited him to stay at the family home.

Peter Wilkinson, Tracey’s husband, also made efforts to assist Barley by giving him a job with his building firm and paying for his mobile phone contract.

When the defendant failed to attend work on a number of occasions, his employment was terminated. In late March 2017, after a number of weeks had passed without any contact from Barley, Mr Wilkinson decided to cancel his phone contract.

On 29 March 2017 the defendant had been drinking all evening and made his way to the Wilkinson’s address in Greyhound Lane. He attempted to break into the property through one of the windows. When this failed, he waited in the shed until Mr Wilkinson left to walk the dog in the morning.

Barley went into the address through the unlocked back door and made his way upstairs where he stabbed Mrs Wilkinson to death in her bedroom and then stabbed Pierce Wilkinson, 13, on the landing.

When Mr Wilkinson returned, he was met at the back door by Barley who attacked him with a large knife. The victim received several life-threatening injuries, but was able to call the emergency services. In the meantime Barley drove off in the family’s car.

Pierce was taken to hospital but later died.

Barley was caught by police after he lost control of the stolen car and collided with a garden wall.

The defendant pleaded guilty to the murder of Tracey and Pierce Wilkinson and the attempted murder of Peter Wilkinson on 3 October 2017.

Ian Crooks, Senior Crown Prosecutor with West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service said: "Aaron Barley carried out a brutal and cruel attack on his victims who had shown nothing other than the utmost kindness and consideration to him over a number of years.

“In return for their support and kindness, Barley waited for the opportunity to gain access to the family home before fatally stabbing Tracey and Pierce and then attacking Peter Wilkinson, stabbing him several times.

“Our thoughts are with the Wilkinson family and their friends.”