The brother of a woman who murdered her two sons after strangling them, has opened up on how evil she had been from birth.
Martyn Barrass says his sister Sarah and accomplice Brandon Machin have been ‘evil since birth’ and worried about what they were capable of for years, and that he warned social services their lives were in danger a decade ago, Metro UK reports.
They both had a fixation on all things gruesome, killing pet mice for fun before eventually moving on to Tristan, 13, and Blake, 14.
The boys were throttled to death in their Sheffield home, just a day after a failed poisoning attempt. Now their killers are facing life behind bars after pleading guilty to murder in May.
Martyn, 34, decided to call social services between 2009 and 2010 after seeing Machin, 37, grabbing Blake’s arm with force and dragging him across the floor.
Recalling the incident, he told Sunday People:
‘It was enough to know something wasn’t right, so I called social services and asked them to look into it. If they had, the boys might still be here today.’ He says he called them three times around 2009 and 2010 but felt like he ‘wasn’t listened to’.
Around a decade later, mum-of-six Barrass, 35, and her accomplice spent nine days plotting how to kill her children. She tried to poison four of them the day before Tristan and Blake were strangled on May 24. Emergency services rushed the teenagers to hospital where they died 12 minutes apart.
Their siblings, who are all younger than 13, were also taken in for treatment and released later that day. There was also a failed attempt to drown another child.
Martyn, who lives in Wirral, Merseyside, felt like someone had ‘taken a sledgehammer to his stomach’ when he learnt of the murders on social media. In a touching tribute to the two boys, who were mad about motorcycles and cars, 300 bikers and two Lamborghinis led a funeral procession for them.
Martyn says he grew up watching how obsessed with death and horror movies the two child killers were. He remembers seeing his now deceased sister Donna screaming and crying at the sight of Barrass and Machin chasing the family’s pet mice and stamping on them. ‘They were calling over laughing while we were in floods of tears looking at the little bodies on the floor,’ he added.
He also remembers his sister shoving a girl out of a tree and laughing at how much pain she was in. Martyn added:
‘I knew Brandon was capable of murder and I knew she was. But I never thought she’d kill her own kids. ‘Those two have been evil since birth. They are both as bad as each other, they are both murdering, evil psychopaths.’ Martyn says he had a turbulent upbringing and spent some time in care before being allowed back home.
He says Barrass was shy and protective of her siblings but ‘became a bully’ as soon as she became close with Machin, who would beat people up at school for no reason ‘just to impress Sarah’.
Months before the murders, Sarah quoted horror writer Stephen King in a Facebook post, saying: ‘Murder is like potato chips; you can’t stop with just one.’
She also shared an image of the Grim Reaper with the caption ‘coming for you…’ Machin and Barrass are due to be sentenced on November 12 after admitting two counts of murder, five of attempted murder and one of conspiracy to murder at Sheffield Crown Court on September 27.
A serious case review is set to be held into Tristan and Blake’s deaths to help authorities including Sheffield City Council understand exactly what happened and why