'Emotionally broken': The devastating impact on evil Sheffield mum's surviving children and what happens next

An incestuous couple from Sheffield who killed two of their six children have spent the first night of a 35-year jail sentence behind bars.

By Dan Windham
Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 3:32 pm

Barrass, 35, and Brandon Machin, 39, who are also half-brother and sister, were sentenced to life imprisonment yesterday to serve a minumum of 35 years.

The pair were jailed after pleading guilty to the horrific murders of Blake and Tristan Barrass, aged 14 and 13 years respectively, on May 24.

In addition to this, the wicked pair were also sentenced for conspiracy to murder all six of their chidlren and for their attempts to murder Blake and Tristan and two more of their children.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Floral tributes outside the house on Gregg House Road, Shiregreen where two boys were murdered

The pair initially attempted to kill the oldest four children, including Blake, Tristan and two more children under 13, by forcing them to take overdoses of prescribed medication.

Sheffield Crown Court heard that none of the children wanted to take the tablets but were forced to do so under Barrass’ insistence.

Barrass fed the tablets to her children with a sip of a fizzy drink, sent them to bed, and wrote a ‘light-hearted’ Facebook post saying they had caught a sickness bug.

When this plan did not work, the pair ran a bath for one of the surviving children and ‘repeatedly attempted to drown them in it’.

Floral tributes outside the house on Gregg House Road, Shiregreen where two boys were murdered

When the emergency services arrived, Barrass had barricaded herself in her bedroom, with the four surviving children, holding a notebook open on a page entitled ‘Funeral Arrangements’.

The court heard that one of the surviving children fears they will also become a murderer "because that's what mum and Brandon did".

While the two older children have been left "emotionally broken".

A victim impact statement, written on the behalf of all four children by social workers, explained they will all be in need of ongoing support.

Sarah Barrass the Shiregreen home

The court heard that the children wanted their parents to go to prison for "300 years".

Kama Melly QC, prosecuting, told the court: "When (the older two children) were told Sarah and Brandon had pleaded guilty to the murders of their brothers and the attempted murders of them, (one of them) said they were worried they would become a murderer when they were older because that's what their mum and Brandon did. They said they didn't want to be like that."

The court heard that the children did not know that Machin - who is Barrass's half brother - was their father and had been told their father was dead.

Miss Melly said: "Both (the older children) are emotionally broken and don't know why this happened. They repeatedly ask why and how. We don't have the answers."

The barrister added: "Both (the older children) keep saying they just want a nice family home."

She added: "Both say they want their brothers back because it's too hard without them."

The court heard that the two youngest children, who are aged under three, never asked for their mother or Machin, even when they are upset.

Miss Melly said the older two were "really struggling knowing they will not see their big brothers again and not seeing their (other siblings) every day.

"They have lost everything."

She continued: "There's no doubt that all four children will need ongoing psychological support.

"There's no way of knowing the long-term effect and impact on their lives at this stage."

Chief Superintendent Stuart Barton, District Commander for Sheffield, revealed that all the surviving children will be given specialist support.

Speaking outside court, he said: “We continue to work with partners to ensure any of the young people affected by this incident are given specialist support and the right direction in life as they move forward.”

Mr Justice Goss said: "Both the children who survived were clearly aware of some of the terrifying events surrounding the deaths of their brothers and your attempt to drown one of them."

He continued: "The initial effect on them, as described by them, was frightening. Unsurprisingly they are extremely upset and anxious.

"The statement from their social worker on their behalf describes their inevitable confusion, the effect of the loss of their brothers upon them and the incredible emotional hardship of these events on the (older children) and of being separated.

"Inevitably they will require a significant amount of support. The long-term consequences for them and (the younger children) as they grow older and become aware of what happened cannot be known, but is likely to be significant."