A child who survived their incestuous mother and father’s efforts to murder them, after witnessing the murder of their older brothers, has told a social worker that they worry will become a murderer themselves “because that’s what mum and Brandon did”.
The eldest two surviving children of Sarah Barrass and Brandon Machin- who survived their mother’s efforts to murder them with ADHD prescription drugs and a further attempt to kill one of them by drowning in the family bath – have been described by a social worker as having been left “emotionally broken” by what they have gone through.
In victim impact statements set before the Court during the trial of their parents, social workers supporting the children detailed how all four surviving children will need ongoing support throughout the remainder of their lives.
Ms Kama Melly QC, prosecuting, told the court that: “When the older two children were told by social workers that Sarah Barrass and Brandon Machin 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.”
Ms Melly also told the court that the children wanted their parents to go to prison for “300 years” for what they had done to them and their older two murdered brothers.
Over the course of the hearing, the court heard that none of the children knew that Brandon Machin was their father and instead thought that he was just their uncle.
Instead of knowing the truth about their incestuous parentage, they children were all told that their father was dead.
It was the fear of this truth coming out that is said to have driven Barrass and Machin to murder their children.
During the course of her prosecution, Ms Melly told Sheffield crown how Barrass portrayed herself as a ‘loving single mum’: “The six children lived alone with their mother, Sarah Barrass. The picture of the Sarah Barrass household prior to the events in 2019 was, to the outside world, a household of a loving single mum with six children, heavily supported by her brother Brandon Machin”
“In fact, unbeknown to everyone but the defendants, Brandon Machin was in a sexual relationship with his half-sister Sarah Barrass, and he was the father of all six children”
“The children believed and even told officers at the scene of the murders that their father was dead, having died in the second world war”
Explaining the impact of what they have suffered, Ms Melly told the Court how: “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.”
“Both the older children keep saying they just want a nice family home”
“Both say they want their brothers back because it’s too hard without them”
“They are really struggling knowing they will not see their big brothers again”
“They have lost everything”
“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”
The judge in the case, Mr Justice Goss, said: “The statement from their social worker on their behalf describes their inevitable confusion, the effect of the loss of their brothers”
“Inevitably they will require a considerable amount of support. The long-term consequences to them and the younger children as they grow older cannot be known”