The knife-wielding thugs behind bars and the unforgivable crimes that got them there
When there is an argument, often between gangs, people too often resort to brandishing or using a blade to inflict injury, sometimes with devastating consequences. And there always seems to be a steady stream of knife crime cases that end up in court.
The first sentencing hearing I attended recently involved a defendant who had been involved in a major violent disorder between two rival groups of young men in the city center. Here are some other cases that have come to court over the past few months.
The most recent was the conviction of a 15-year-old for manslaughter – who cannot be named for legal reasons.
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Following a confrontation outside a nightclub in Digbeth, Zechelle Reid fatally stabbed Jason Bentley-Morrison, causing him catastrophic internal injuries. Reid had visited Laboratory 11 in Oxford Street in the early hours of Sunday August 22 last year.
Minutes later, Mr Bentley-Morrison, 25, walked out of the club and Reid appeared to say something to the victim. At this point, Mr Bentley-Morrison appeared to punch the accused
Birmingham Crown Court heard they then crossed the road, followed by a large crowd. The men then clashed again, with Reid making “pushing” motions towards Mr. Bentley-Morrison.
The victim then collapsed, falling face forward and later died in hospital. In handing down his sentence, Judge Paul Farrer told Reid, “You could have just walked away, but you were disrespectful to people in the area and followed him with the intention of getting revenge.” No one has been able to say what the cause of the dispute was
The 31-year-old homeless man, who was convicted of murder, has been jailed for life and must serve at least 20 years before being considered for parole. Read more about the case here
A 15 year old boy
A 15-year-old stuck a knife in the chest of 14-year-old Dea-John Reid after the victim was chased by a number of people in College Road Kingstanding on May 31 last year. It was a revenge attack after the 14-year-old was part of a gang who tried to take a bag from a 16-year-old. The sentence was adjourned to next month. Read more about the case here
Cam’ron Dunn plunged a Rambo-style blade into Derlano Samuels’ chest. A trial has heard how the two crossed paths in Smethwick, with Mr Samuels walking towards his attacker in Cape Hill on May 1 last year.
Dunn – who was cycling in the area – dropped his bike and reached for his belt before grabbing a concealed machete and stabbing the victim twice with it. He ran and fled to the nearby Nowa Polka store, but Dunn “chased” him and stabbed him “seven times in five seconds” in a back room.
The teenager then left the Waterloo Road store ‘bleeding profusely’ before being discovered in a white Ford Focus and pronounced dead in Heath Street at 5.25pm. The tip of the murder weapon was horribly left embedded in his head. Dunn, of Sketchley Close, Smethwick, who was convicted of murder, will be sentenced on May 13. Learn more here
Luke Ward broke into a woman’s home and subjected her to a 35-hour ordeal described by the judge as “sustained, sadistic and violent”. Ward, 25, attempted to kill her in several ways, selecting a sharp knife before stabbing her in the neck, then suffocating her with a pillow – before strangling her, then giving her a choice between three ways to die.
He decided he would drown her, so he went to draw a bath. It was then that she ran for her life and headed for the front door to ask a stranger for help.
At Wolverhampton Crown Court Ward, of Princess Anne Road, Bilston, was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum sentence of 14 years and 58 days for attempted murder, four counts of rape and assault by penetration
On April 20 last year, a man tried to intervene and tried to separate the two after Nehemiah Youngsam was physically aggressive towards a Villa Road shopkeeper.
Youngsam then pulled a knife from his pants, the victim stepped back and the accused stabbed him in the abdomen. He was arrested approximately five hours later and still had the knife he had used in the assault as well as a second.
As a result of the stab wounds, he suffered clots in his lungs, which collapsed and kidney failure and he nearly died. The 27-year-old, from Stamford Road, Handsworth, who previously admitted to intentionally wounding and three counts of possession of a knife, was jailed for 10 years and four months. Learn more here
Zacharia Liburd, aged just 16 at the time, stabbed a man multiple times in Ludford Road, Bartley Green on August 7, 2020.
His victim was stabbed in the arm and twice in the chest and had to spend approximately three weeks in hospital. The attack was carried out in broad daylight in front of witnesses who called 999 and directed cops to the teenager who was caught in his underwear after stripping in a futile attempt to escape the chasing cops.
Liburd, now 18 and of no fixed address, pleaded guilty and was jailed at Birmingham Crown Court for five years and nine months in February this year. Learn more here