NEWS: Man appears before Birmingham Crown Court for murder and fraud charges after body found at Baldmoor Lake Road address

Words by Ed King / Pic of Wallis Webb supplied by WMP – pics of Baldmoor Lake Rd from Google Maps

A man has appeared before Birmingham Crown Court, charged with murder and fraud by false representation after a body was found at a Baldmoor Lake Road address last week.

On Tuesday 6 February, Mr Wallis Webb, aged 65, was discovered dead at the Erdington address – sparking a murder investigation by local police.

Days later and Sakander Hussain, aged 25, was arrested and subsequently charged with the murder of Mr Wallis and fraud by false representation – after police found the deceased’s bank card had been used posthumously.

Mr Hussain, from Ingleton Road, Ward End, first appeared before magistrates and has now been processed through to Birmingham’s Crown Court, where he appeared via video link from HMP Hewell to confirm his name.

Judge Simon Drew KC, presiding, set a plea and trial preparation hearing for 22 April – where the accused will be asked to enter a plea against the charges brought before him. A provisional trail date has also been set for 5 August 2024.

Addressing Mr Hussain, Judge Simon Drew KC said: “I am going to adjourn your case.

“The next hearing will be on April 22, that is the hearing at which you will be expected to enter a plea of either guilty or not guilty.”

He added: “I am fixing your case for trial on August 5. You must attend the trial and if you fail to do so, you could face a separate offence.”

A spokesperson for West Midlands Police further confirmed: “A 51-year-old man, who was arrested on suspicion of fraud, has been bailed with conditions while enquiries continue.”

They added: “We’re doing all we can to support (Mr Webb’s) family during this terrible time.

“We remain keen to hear from anyone with information which could help our investigation.”

Mr Webb, who served briefly as a local councillor, was found dead at the scene by emergency services on Tuesday 6 February.

His family released a statement through West Midlands Police: “To try to compress a life into short sentences does not do anybody justice. This is by far the hardest of them all.

“Wallis was a Councillor for a short period of time, because he really believed in trying to help others and felt strongly about the hardships people now have to endure without the help so many need.

“This is yet another life taken in a shocking and senseless manner.”

Anyone with any information that might prove useful to the investigation have been asked to contact West Midlands Police via Live Chat on their website at: www.west-midlands.police.uk/contact-us/live-chat  

Alternatively, people can call 101 and quote Log No. 631 of 6/2 – or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111

NEWS: All three men charged with Cody Fisher Boxing Day murder plead not guilty at Birmingham Crown

Words by Ed King

All three men charged with the Boxing Day murder of Cody Fisher (23) pleaded not guilty in a hearing at Birmingham Crown Court today, Friday 17 March.

Appearing via video link, Kami Carpenter (21), Remy Gordon (22), and Erdington teenager Reegan Anderson (18) also pleaded not guilty to a further charge of affray.

The three men accused have been detained in separate prisons across the West Midlands: HMP Brinsford (Wolverhampton), HMP Hewell (Worcestershire), and HMP Birmingham (Winson Green).

Presiding over the hearing, Judge Melbourne Inman KC set a trail date for 3 July, advising the court and defendants the case could take up to four weeks to be heard in full.

If found guilty of murder, all three men – tried as adults – would be looking at a mandatory life sentence.

Under the Criminal Justice Act 2003, affray refers to violent conduct in public setting ‘such as would cause a person of reasonable firmness… to fear for their own personal safety’ and could carry a sentence of up to three years following a conviction.

Cody Fisher was fatally stabbed at the Crane nightclub, Digbeth, on Boxing Day last year – pronounced dead at the scene despite the best efforts of emergency services attending the incident.

Mr Fisher was a semi-professional footballer from Redditch, who had been part of the Blues Academy and played for teams in Bromsgrove, Stourbridge, and Stratford.

Following the killing on 26 December, Kami Carpenter and Remy Gordon were initially arrested – with Erdington’s Reegan Anderson the last to be formally charged on 12 January 2023.

During the hearing on Friday 17 March, which was to establish the defendants’ pleas and for the court to outline their preparation for trial, the defence counsels for each man accused were asked if they accepted the fact each individual was at the Crane nightclub on the evening of Cody Fisher’s death.

All three defendants, answering through their counsels, admitted “presence” at the nightclub but denied “participation” in the charges brought against them.

As part of their preparation for trial, the defence counsels went on to request access to the “DNA statistics” surrounding the attack, and CCTV footage taken from the Digbeth venue from 6:30pm on the night in question.

Defending Reegan Anderson, Mr Bell also made a request for access to the “telephone evidence” regarding his client – which the court identified should be made available by the end of April.

Judge Melbourne Inman KC was also clear with the court that any witnesses required to appear should be confirmed as early as possible, as the trial will begin around the summer holidays and they would need to plan accordingly.

Kami Carpenter, Remy Gordon, and Erdington teenager Reegan Anderson have all denied the charges of murder and affray brought against them, with the trail set to begin on 3 July.

Father and son charged with murder following “isolated incident and not gang related” attack on Cadbury Drive

Words & pics by Ed King

A father and son have been charged with murder after the fatal stabbing of a man at a house on Cadbury Drive, Castle Vale, at around 1pm on Monday 13 March.

Ahmad Alsino (42) and Bashar Alsino (20) were scheduled to appear at Birmingham Magistrates Court on Wednesday 15, also facing charges for the attempted murder of another man and assault.

A statement issued by West Midlands Police told: “We have charged two people with murder after a stabbing at an address in Birmingham.

“Ahmad Alsino, aged 42, and his son Bashar Alsino, aged 20, have been charged after two men were stabbed at an address in Cadbury Drive, Castle Vale.

“A 56-year-old man was found with stab wounds and despite the best efforts of emergency services, was pronounced dead at the scene. A 27-year-old man remains in a critical condition in hospital.

“Both men have also been charged with attempted murder and assault.

“A 21-year-old woman has been released on police bail while further enquiries are carried out.”

Shocking scenes unfurled on Castle Vale on Monday afternoon, after emergency services were called to the quiet streets by the Castle Pool leisure centre, with reports seeing six squad cars, ambulance crews, and a police helicopter.

But thanks to the speedy response from West Midlands Police, the offenders were caught shortly after feeling the scene – tracked down to Chatham Road in Northfield.

Police were also quick to assure local residents they believed the incident to be a “targeted attack” and did not expect to see further aggression or violence on the street of the North Birmingham estate.

Castle Vale Councillor Ray Goodwin (Lab) further called for “calm” as the police began to conduct their investigation on Monday.

Cllr Goodwin, who also works supporting the Castle Vale community as CEO of Spitfire Advice and Support Services, added: “Castle Vale is full good and decent residents, and this is not a representation of this amazing community.”

In a further statement issued today, Chief Inspector Dave Sanders from West Midlands Police Homicide Team added: “Our thoughts are with the family, who are being supported by specialist officers at this very difficult time.

“We would like to reassure people in the neighbourhood that this was an isolated incident and is not gang-related.

“Our neighbourhood teams have been carrying out reassurance patrols and meeting with community leaders to provide support.

“We understand what happened might have shocked people in the surrounding area and we would again urge residents not to panic or fuel speculation until the conclusion of the court case.”

West Midlands Police are continuing their investigation and have called for any members of the public who may have useful information to get in touch.

The force previously stated: “Anyone with information should contact us via Live Chat on our website quoting log 1841 of 13/3.”

NEWS: Murder investigation launched after believed “targeted attack” on Cadbury Drive

Words by Ed King

West Midlands Police have launched a murder investigation today after two men were stabbed at a residential property on Cadbury Drive, Castle Vale – killing one man and leaving the other fighting for his life in hospital.

Emergency services attended the scene at around 1pm on Monday 13 March, but despite the best efforts of paramedics one of the men attacked was pronounced dead at the scene.

The other man was rushed to hospital where he remains in a “critical condition”.

West Midlands Police issued the following statement following the attack: “We’ve launched a murder investigation after two men were attacked at a property in Birmingham this afternoon.

“One man suffered stab wounds and, despite the best efforts of ambulance colleagues, died at the scene in Cadbury Drive just after 1pm. Another man also suffered stab wounds and has been taken to hospital in a critical condition.

“The offenders fled the scene in a car which was picked up and tracked by the police helicopter to Chatham Road in Northfield.

“Armed police stopped the vehicle and arrested three people, two men and a woman, on suspicion of murder.”

Police went on to explain that although the investigation is only in its “early stages” it is believed this was a “targeted attack” and therefore presenting no continuing danger to local residents.

The police’s statement continued: “We have already sealed off the scene for forensic examination and begun house to house and CCTV enquiries.”

Knife crime is a growing problem across the country, with Birmingham holding some of the highest rates for weapon possession or violent assault in comparison to other areas of the West Midlands.

According to the Office for National Statistics “Knife-enabled crime recorded by the police saw a 10% increase to 49,027 offences in the year ending March 2022, from 44,642 in the year ending March 2021.”

However, some local residents were quick to praise the swift reaction from the police and ambulance crews attending the incident on Castle Vale today – telling Erdington Local they were reassured at the size and speed of the emergency service’s response and did not feel threatened by any potentially continuing violence.

Castle Vale Councillor Ray Goodwin also told Erdington Local: “I am very saddened and shocked to hear of the incident today, whilst I understand this is being treated as a murder investigation.

“I would ask that everyone remains calm and allows the police to undertake their investigations, my understand that arrests have been made this afternoon.

“Castle Vale is full good and decent residents, and this is not a representation of this amazing community.”

West Midlands Police are continuing their investigation and have called for any members of the public who may have useful information to get in touch.

The force added: “Anyone with information should contact us via Live Chat on our website quoting log 1841 of 13/3.”

NEWS: 18 year old from Erdington is charged with Cody Fisher Boxing Day murder

Words by Ed King

An 18 year old from Erdington has been charged with murder and affray, following a police investigation into the fatal stabbing of Cody Lee Fisher (23) at a city centre nightclub on Boxing Day.

Reegan Anderson (18) from Erdington was held by West Midlands Police on 12 January and has now been officially implicated in the violent attack – which took place at Crane nightclub on Adderly Street in Digbeth.

Two other men had previously been charged with the murder of Mr Fisher, Kami Carpenter (21) and Remy Gordon (22) both appeared at the city’s Birmingham Crown Court last week.

Another man was also arrested but released on bail, making Reegan Anderson from Erdington the fourth man to be arrested and third to be charged over the horrific killing.

Cody Fisher, a semi professional footballer from Redditch, was fatally stabbed the dancefloor of Crane nightclub on Boxing Day last year.

Police were called to the popular Digbeth venue just before midnight on 26 December 2022, but despites efforts to save Mr Fisher’s life at the scene he was pronounced dead around 30 minutes later.

Security at the nightclub was questioned following the attack, with an 18-year-old man from Wolverhampton reporting the killing was a “disaster waiting to happen” and that the venue security “…didn’t even touch me whilst searching me, they just followed the outline of my body with their hands then tapped me to say go on through.”

He continued: “Obviously you want everyone to have a good time and enjoy themselves (but) when we got in I said to my friend: ‘That’s the worst search I’ve ever seen’. Anyone could have brought anything in.”

Cody Fisher was had previously played for Stourbridge, Bromsgrove Sporting, and Stratford Town football clubs.

In the days following the fatal attack, Arron Forde from Erdington based Community Interest Company Foundations 4 Future – who use sport to engage with young people and keep them away from violent crime and gang culture – took to social media to decry the brutal killing.

Mr Forde stated on his personal Twitter feed: ‘Having a son who is 2 & a half I just don’t see how I can bring him up in this lawless cesspit of a country. 0 consequence for the most horrific crimes.’

Following the arrest of Reegan Anderson, West Midlands Police issued the following statement:

“We’ve arrested a fourth man on suspicion of the murder of Cody Fisher, who was stabbed to death in a Birmingham nightclub on Boxing Day.

“The 18-year-old was held in Erdington just before 7am and will be questioned over the death of Cody.

“Cody, 23, was stabbed on the dance floor of the Crane nightclub on Adderley Street in Digbeth just before midnight on Boxing Day. He died at the scene.

“Two men have already been charged with his murder, while a third has been released on police bail while our inquiry continues.”

Det Insp Michelle Thurgood, leading the investigation, added: “We know lots of people at The Crane were using their mobile phones to take pictures and video on the night.

“If anyone has images from the evening that shows what happened before, during or after the incident, we really need to see it. It could provide vital to our investigation.”

West Midlands Police have set up a dedicated webpage for people to anonymously share any information, images, or videos that could help them with the investigation: https://mipp.police.uk/operation/20HQ22L31-PO1

NEWS: Shock verdict as all defendants found not guilty of murder in Dea John Reid trial

Words by Ed King

After three days of deliberation, the jury for the Dea John Reid murder trial delivered their verdict at Birmingham Crown Court today – finding all the defendants not guilty of murder and assisting an offender.

One of the minors accused of murder, the teenager that delivered the fatal blow, was found guilty of manslaughter, with sentencing set for 5 May.

With all five defendants accused of murder as a joint enterprise, once one verdict of not guilty was returned it paved the way for the rest to likewise be acquitted of murder.

Hollie Davis (36, Castle Bromwich) who had been on bail after being charged with assisting an offender, was also found not guilty.

The others found not guilty of any crime, including George Khan (39, Kingstanding) and Michael Shields (36, Castle Bromwich) – who had been remanded on custody since their arrest – would be back home as soon as the court could process the relevant paperwork for their release.

In a case that has gone on for almost a year, tears of relief were shed both inside and outside the courtroom as friends and family members of those accused had been waiting at Birmingham Crown Court since Monday to hear the jury’s verdict.

Dea John Reid was fatally stabbed on Collage Road in Kingstanding on 31 May 2021, following incidents earlier in the day where he and a group he was with had attempted to rob the minors eventually accused of his murder.

Throughout the trial, extensive CCTV footage had showed Dea John Reid and his group coming into Kingstanding from Perry Barr – including the moments when both groups had met and the attempted robbery had taken place.

If found guilty of murder, the adults accused could have spent the rest of their lives in prison – with a ‘whole life order’ as a possible starting point for sentencing. As minors, the teenagers accused could have faced custodial sentences of a minimum of 12 years before being eligible for parole.

Before the jury returned to deliver their verdict, the presiding judge – Mr Justice Johnson – asked members of the public present to “control themselves” as the court would not tolerate any “outbursts” once the verdict had been read.

Dressed in white shirts and black ties, George Khan and Michael Shields hung their heads and looked down at the floor upon hearing the verdict of not guilty – with both wiping tears of relief from their faces.

However, for Dea John Reid’s mother and brother, who were present in the courtroom as the jury delivered their verdict, the judgement was a bitter blow for a family that has suffered such a tragic loss – as no murder charge was upheld.

Dea John Reid’s family, accompanied by Bishop Desmond Jaddoo, left Birmingham Crown Court calmly and quickly, and were initially unavailable for comment.

In a later statement, as the official family spokesperson, Bishop Jaddoo stated:

“Dea John was a well loved, brother and uncle. His family are mortified at the verdict and are of the opinion that is no justice for Dea John.

“The evidence clearly shows intent with a young man with a balaclava over his face and wearing a hood chasing Dea John with a knife and inflicting a stab wound to his (Dea John) chest and is not reflected in the jury’s decision.

“Many will say, where is the justice for Dea John.”

Bishop Jaddoo went on the say, on behalf of Dea John’s family, that whilst they were “mortified” with the verdict they wanted to thank West Midlands Police for the “support and the thorough investigation” they had conducted.

Kate Seal, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS West Midlands, stated: “I cannot begin to imagine the crippling sense of loss felt by Dea-John’s family and friends.

“The verdict of manslaughter will not undo the devastation felt by so many at the senseless loss of a young life.

“Such unnecessary violence has no place in our society and the death of Dea-John Reid should have never happened.

“The irrational use of violence that is now prevalent on our streets and in our communities must cease if we are to prevent further tragedies among our youth. While no verdict can return Dea-John to his family, my thoughts remain with them.”

Sentencing for the minor now found guilty of manslaughter will take place at Birmingham Crown Court on 5 May.

NEWS: Jury prepares to consider their verdict for Dea John Reid murder trail

Words by Ed King

The jury for the Dea John Reid murder case are preparing to consider their verdict, as summing up for the defence councils on the high profile murder case finished this week.

Being heard at Birmingham Crown Court, on Monday, 28 March the twelve strong jury will decide, as a group, whether George Khan (39, Kingstanding), Michael Shields (36, Castle Bromwich), and the three minors accused of murder are guilty or innocent. All five have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

On 31 May 2021, the 14 year old Dea John Reid was fatally stabbed on College Road in KIngstanding – dying at the scene, following a single blow to the chest.

After a swift but thorough police investigation, where officers trawled through hundreds of hours of CCTV footage an interviewed many witnesses, two men and three minors were arrested and charged with the murder of the schoolboy.

Michael Shields was the first to hand himself into the police, the day after the killing, with police eventually charging the Castle Bromwich man with murder, alongside Khan and the three minors.

The Crown Prosecution Service claim all five had ‘joint participation’ in the deadly attack, despite only one of the minors delivering the fatal blow.

Opening the case for the prosecution on Wednesday, 23 February 2022, Richard Wormald QC described the deadly chase and assault as a “hunt” and “revenge attack”.

The court then heard how the three minors, along with another friend, had been “mugged” by Dea John and other boys in his company earlier that day, leading to a retaliation attack that left the 14 year old fatally stabbed.

During their summing up statements, councils for the defence were keen to remind the jury of the fact the three minors had felt threatened from earlier incidents, including an initial altercation where members of Dea John’s group had tried to rob an Armani ‘man pouch’ from one of the teenagers accused.

Defending the child who had admited stabbed Dea John Reid, although claiming it was in self defence, Mr Clarke QC highlighted a piece of CCTV footage where he asserted you could see “a look of terror on his face” – arguing the final assault was a result of “continued threat… an action that has to be seen in the context of what happened before.”

But the twist of the case came from the alleged involvement of Michael Shields, who despite being charged with murder along with the other accused is claiming to be an unwilling bystander in an event he had no idea would end in serious assault, let alone murder.

The court had previously heard how the two adults accused of murder, George Khan and Michael Shields, had been drinking in The Digby pub on Chester Road before becoming embroiled in the search for Dea John and his friends.

Michael Shields’s defence council claimed he was only in George Khan’s VW Golf, the vehicle used by all five accused of murder to find Dea John and his friends, because he had no money to get home on his own.

Following the subsequent chase and attack, which left the 14 year old Dea John Reid bleeding to death outside the Costcutter on College Road, Michael Shields further claimed he was only aware there had been a stabbing after overhearing a phone call in the car whilst leaving the murder scene – at which point he asked the driver, George Khan, to pull over so he could walk home.

The prosecution does not dispute the fact Michael Shields left the car.

Furthermore, Michael Shields claimed he was threatened by Hollie Davis, who is the ex-partner of George Khan, not to go to the police – extending her threats to Shields’s ex-partner.

Hollie Davis admits she was “horrible to him (Shields)” during a series of phone calls made after the attack.

After hearing a list of positive character references, from men and women of different cultures and backgrounds, the defence council for Michael Shields’s reminded the jury how his client handed himself into the police the day following the attack, as he thought it was “the right thing to do’.

The defence for Shields further stated: “He’s gone from being a perfectly decent, hardworking individual to being on trial for murder, just like that.”

Amongst his final words, Michael Shields’s barrister asked the jury to consider if they believed his client was capable of the “calculated” murder of a child – adding: “This man, Michael Shields, is not a killer.”

All accused will be back in Birmingham Crown Court on Monday, 28 March for the final part of the judge’s summing up – before retiring to deliver their final verdict.

All five accused of murder deny the charges. Hollie Davis further denies the charge of assisting an offender.

NEWS: Courtroom in tears as Dea-John Reid’s final moments caught on CCTV are played to jury

On Friday, 25 February, friends and relatives of Dea John Reid left the courtroom in tears after the schoolboy’s final moments were repeatedly played for jurors.

The fourth day of the murder trial at Birmingham Crown Court, expected to last up to eight weeks, again centred on CCTV and doorbell camera footage from Kingstanding.

Police officers recovered footage from more than 20 cameras around Twickenham Road, College Road, Hometon Road, and Wardour Grove.

Jurors were shown defendants George Khan (39) and Michael Shields (36) along with their three child co-defendants driving around several roads in a blue VW Golf looking for Dea-John Reid and his friends.

The court previously heard how Dea-John had an altercation earlier in the day in Kingstanding, where money had been demanded, before one of the minors accused phoned Khan – who was drinking in The Digby pub on the Chester Road with Shields.

The two men allegedly then jumped into Khan’s VW Golf and collected the boys, some of whom picked up weapons – including a kitchen knife and a wheel brace, before driving around Kingstanding and Perry Common searching for Dea-John and his friends.

Detectives painstakingly pieced together CCTV from shops and footage from doorbell cameras to show the chase in chronological order.

Detective Constable Dave Pugh, giving evidence for a third day, played footage from a College Road camera which had both groups in shot.

He said: “This is the moment the two groups saw each other. Dea-John became separated from his group and can be seen running alone.”

The two men and three boys can then be seen running across a busy College Road chasing after Dea-John, with some of the group carrying weapons.

DC Pugh replayed the audio of a doorbell camera on College Road at half speed, two thirds speed and normal speed. An older man can be heard shouting “f**k him up” to the boys ahead of him.

One of boys caught up with Dea-John on the corner of Wardour Grove and College Road. The police have recovered camera footage from both streets giving a clear view of the two or three second altercation which left Dea-John dead.

The boy approaches Dea-John and they clash, the boy can be seen making a hand movement with a knife towards Dea-John’s body. Dea-John can then be seen recoiling and holding his side while his attacker runs off.

The unnerving footage was replayed at different speeds several times, prompting two members of the victim’s family to leave the court in tears.

The judge then paused evidence for lunch, whilst other members of Dea-John’s family were visibly upset outside the court.

Due to the interest in the case, the defendants, the judge, several lawyers, and some members of the victim’s and defendants families are in one court – while lawyers and extended family of the victim watch proceedings from another room.

Dea-John Reid’s murder on 31 May 2021 prompted a massive response on social media, with a vigil held on the spot where he died attracting more than 1,000 people from across the country.

Shields, of Alvis Walk, Castle Bromwich, and Khan, of Newstead Road, Birmingham, and the three children, who cannot be named because of their age, all deny murder.

Hollie Davies, 36, of Waldon Walk, Birmingham, is accused of assisting an offender. She denies the charge.

The trial continues.

NEWS: Dea-John Reid trial begins as George Khan, Michael Shields, and three minors stand accused of murder

Words & pics by Ed King

The trial over the killing of schoolboy Dea-John Reid began at Birmingham Crown Court today, as George Khan (39), Michael Shields (36), and three minors stood accused of murder.

Hollie Davies (36), former partner of George Khan, also stood accused of assisting an offender.

Sitting in the main courtroom listening to the prosecution’s opening were Dea-John’s mother and brother, accompanied by Desmond Jaddoo who has counselled the family ever since the murder.

A ‘spill over’ court had also been made available to cater for the large number of family members and friends of Dea-John Reid.

Also present in the main courtroom were friends of Hollie Davies.

Opening the case for the prosecution, Richard Wormald QC described the “revenge attack” that led to the fatal stabbing of Dea-John Reid on Monday, 31 May 2021 – where the 14 year old was killed on Collage Road, Kingstanding, following a single stab wound to the heart, as according to the post-mortem examination.

The jury were told how two groups of young males, one including Dea-John Reid and the other including the minors accused of murder, had interacted earlier in the day – beginning with a dispute after they first crossed paths near the Kingstanding Circle, and continuing at a convenience store in the area.

It was alleged the group including Dea-John began “mugging” the minors accused, as one “demanded” an Armani pouch from one of the defendants whilst others were asked to “empty their pockets”.

Running away from the attempted robbery, and being chased by the group including Dea-John, it was further told how the minors accused then spilt up – with one seeking refuge in a local newsagent, before being let out via a back entrance by the shop owner as Dea-John Reid and the others in his group waited outside the front.

The prosecution then described how the minors accused reconvened at a family member’s house, where one of them contacted George Khan who was at that time in The Digby Pub, on Chester Road, with Michael Shields.

It was told how George Khan and Michael Shields then collected the three minors accused, driving them in Khan’s blue VW Golf to the area where the earlier altercation had taken place – looking for Dea-John and his group.

It was presented by the prosecution that all five accused of murder knew weapons were being carried and had the intention to inflict serious violence and cause grievous bodily harm.

The prosecution then described how Dea-John and his group were eventually spotted by George Khan, Michael Shields, and the three minors accused – after being driven around “on the hunt” in George Khan’s blue VW Golf.

According to the prosecution, there was then a chase with all five of those accused with murder complicit in “a group attack, during which each played their party, running after Dea-John Reid, thus enabling” the minor who delivered the fatal blow “to chase down and fatally stab Dea-John Reid to the left side of the chest.”

Richard Wormald QC then added: “The male defendants acted like a pack, chasing down their pray. Just like a pack in chase, all were close and converging.

“Having carried out the attack, the group then made off in haste – not one of them offered any support or comfort to Dea-John Reid, they simply left him to die.”

Once the prosecution had finished opening, which took several hours, the sequence of events was supported by a series of CCTV images and footage – with DC David Pugh, from the homicide team based in Aston, corroborating the locations and the identification of the defendants as mapped out by the images and video captured.

None of the defendants accused of murder deny or contest the references made to them featuring in the CCTV footage.

The prosecution also told the jury, the minor who delivered the fatal blow “accepts that he killed Dea-John Reid by stabbing him, but he will claim that he acted in self-defence.”

The prosecution further explained how the following day in the hearing would likely be taken up going through the extensive CCTV footage, and how the police “have been able to zoom in on the fatal stabbing, which the jury will see in due course.”

The individual barristers acting on behalf of the accused were also given a brief chance to introduce their defence, which for those accused of murder hangs largely on either not knowing their co-defendants were carrying weapons, or for the minor who stabbed and killed Dea-John Reid that they were acting in self-defence.

The case continues and is expected to last between six to eight weeks.

COURT REPORT: Coton Lane hit and run murderer, Tony Green, sentenced to 20 years behind bars – report from the courtroom

Words by Adam Smith / Crime scene pics by Ed King, profile pic & video courstesy of West Midlands Police

Tony Green has been sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 20 years for murdering Shkelzen Taka outside an Erdington brothel in the early hours of Boxing Day morning.

The entire incident was captured on CCTV and West Midlands Police have released harrowing footage of the final moments of Mr Taka’s life – which helped the jury convict Green of murder.

At Birmingham Crown Court this morning Judge Melbourne Inman told 27-year-old Green, of Suffield Grove, he had used his car as a “lethal weapon” to kill Mr Taka who sustained catastrophic head injuries when a road sign Green’s car crashed into landed on his head.

Judge Inman said: “The injuries caused to Mr Taka were truly horrific. The pole struck him with such force it split his head into two. His brain was recovered separately.

“You continued to drive over him in reverse and back over him to get away. You drove away.”

The court heard Green and Taka, 28, had exchanged brief words outside Ayurveda Health Spa Sauna, Coton Lane, at around 6am as Green was leaving and his victim and friend were entering. From this moment Green, who had been drinking brandy and wine throughout Christmas Day, was then intent on seriously injuring his victim.

Green, hoping Taka would leave the brothel so he could attack him, then jumped on Taka’s car’s bonnet and smashed his windscreen.

The commotion caused Taka to leave the brothel, get a metal bar and try to hit Green’s Skoda. Green then reversed as fast as he could at his victim, escaping the scene after killing him.

Green denied being responsible for destroying evidence after his car was found on fire later that day saying the blaze was “bad luck”.

He also claimed he reversed by mistake after having had problems with the gear box.

The jury took just an hour to convict Green of murder.

Mr Taka’s siter Sonila said: “Shkelzen was a much-loved brother and partner and his family are devastated at his loss.

“The pain we feel is not easily cured – pain in the soul that breaks me into a thousand pieces.”

Judge Inman paid tribute to the victim as he began sentencing. Addressing the defendant, who was dressed in an Adidas tracksuit and had several family members in court, he said: “Shkelzen Taka was only 28 years of age when you killed him.

“He had his life before him. He had come to this country from Albania and supported his family.

“No-one listening to the statements of friends and family could fail to have been moved by the love clearly held by those who knew him and the depth of their grief. They are clearly going to find it difficult to ever come to terms with their loss.”

Judge Inman outlined several points when Green could have left the scene but was instead in a “highly aggressive state of mind” and was intent on murder.

Referencing Green’s previous convictions as a drug dealer the Judge said he was “not of good character” but took into account he had not been in court for violence before.

The minimum sentence the judge could have handed down was 15 years but he instead he sentenced Green to a minimum of 20 years behind bars.

Green shook his head when told the sentence and there were gasps of anguish from his family, one of whom said: “disgusting”. When led away to the cells Green gave his family a thumbs up.

Three family members of the victim sat in silence throughout the proceedings.

Detective Inspector Wes Martin, from the force’s Homicide Unit, helped build the case against Green.

He said: “This is a tragic case where a chance encounter has led to the death of a family man and the imprisonment of another for life.

“All too often impetuous acts of violence lead to tragedy as we have seen here.”

He added: “My thoughts remain with Shkelzen’s family who continue to mourn his loss.”

Mark Heywood, defending, said: “He is still a comparatively young man. He has a supportive family split between two parts of the country. This has been a terrible experience for all of them but I am sure nothing compared to the family of the unfortunate Mr Taka.

“He has always been deeply affected by the death regardless of how he chose to conduct the trial.”

CCTV footage of Tony Green damaging car and attacking Shkelzen Taka

Report crime, get prevention advice, and see the latest news from West Midlands Police at www.west-midlands.police.uk