The family of murdered former royal seamstress, Jean Farrar, has spoken exclusively to the Chronicle about the relief they felt when her attacker failed to persuade judges his sentence was too harsh.
Daniel Barnett, of Holly House, Brentford, brutally beat the frail, clinically blind 77-year-old to death at her home in Brook Road South, Brentford, in the early hours of October 25, 2012.
She had disturbed him as he attempted to burgle her house following a bout of heavy drinking and cannabis smoking at his mother’s birthday nearby.
Lawyers at the original trial said how her face was almost unrecognisable when police arrived moments after the attack.
Mrs Farrar died of blunt trauma to her head and throat hours later in hospital and Barnett was arrested within minutes of the incident, close to the home were the pensioner lived by herself.
The 21-year-old, who had committed 25 previous offences, was jailed for life in July last year, with a minimum of 32 years before he could apply for parole but appealed to have that shortened at the Royal Courts of Justice last Thursday (January 23).
Mother-of-two Mrs Farrar was described by judges as a remarkable woman who started her work-life as a royal seamstress then went on to be an actress and a model, starring alongside Roger Moore in The Saint series during the 1970s.
Appearing by live video link from prison, the unshaven thug who turned 20-years-old the day after the murder, kept on shaking his head as Mr Justice Globe described the horrific attack which included Barnett jumping up and down on Mrs Farrar’s head until she stopped screaming.
He maintained his innocence throughout the trial last year and applied to appeal the length of the minimum sentence just before Christmas.
Last week his legal team challenged the judge’s finding that Barnett had attacked Mrs Farrar then returned to continue kicking her, but Mr Justice Globe, sitting with Lord Justice Laws and Judge Paul Batty QC, said there was no justifiable basis for cutting his sentence. He added: “The minimum term of 32 years was not manifestly excessive.”
Upon hearing Barnett’s appeal had been overturned, Mrs Farrar’s family breathed a visible sigh of relief and told the Chronicle how thankful they were and that it brought some closure to the horrific ordeal, although it does not bring her back.
Mrs Farrar’s daughter, Kiki Farrar, said: “Our family is extremely thankful that the appeal against Daniel Barnett’s sentence was dismissed and that his life sentence with a minimum term of 32 years imprisonment remains.
“We now hope that the conclusion of these proceedings will allow us to try and move on with our lives although nothing will ever make up for the tragic loss of our loved one who was so cruelly taken from us.
“We found out he had applied for an appeal in December so it’s been hanging over us and ruined Christmas, we’re just so glad he’ll be in there until he’s 52-years-old.
“We would like to add our thanks to Mr Peter Wright QC, the police investigation team and all others who were involved for all their help in bringing this case to a successful conclusion.”
She added that everybody in Brentford misses her mother who was often seen wheeling her bicycle down to her beloved Watermans Centre or to Jenny’s Cafe in Brentford High Street.