NEWS: Quick arrest made after “disorder” on Erdington High Street puts man in “life threatening condition”

Words by Erdington Local editorial team / Pics taken from archive

Police have made a quick arrest after a vicious knife attack during a “disorder” on Erdington High Street put a man in hospital in a “life threatening condition.”

Officers were called an incident near Six Ways Island at 5.10pm yesterday (Thursday, 20 June) following reports of fighting at the top end of the High Street.

Arriving at the scene, officers found a man with knife wounds who was immediately rushed to hospital for emergency treatment.

A few hours after the stabbing a man was arrested on suspicion of wounding with intent and possessing a bladed article.

An immediate investigation began, with officers knocking on doors and closing parts of the High Street off the public. Parts of the busy retail area remained cordoned off overnight as forensic officers continued to collect evidence.

A statement from West Midlands Police said: “We’ve arrested a man after being called to reports of a disorder on Erdington High Street at about 5.10pm today.

“Officers attended and found a man who had suffered a knife injury. He was taken to hospital where we understand he’s in a life-threatening condition.

“A short time later officers arrested a man on suspicion of wounding with intent and possession of a bladed article.

“Part of Erdington High Street has been cordoned off as we remain at the scene, with forensic experts examining the area.”

The police added: “Officers are reviewing CCTV and carrying out door-to-door enquiries as the investigation continues.

“Anyone with information or footage can contact us via Live Chat or by calling 101, quoting log 3798 of 20 June.”

The stabbing on 20 June is yet another violent incident on Erdington High Street this month, as the once busy throughfare becomes more and more synonymous with crime and anti-social behaviour.

On 7 June another man was found with “life threatening injuries” after officers discovered the victim near Harrison Road during a routine patrol.

Last Wednesday, 12 June, another man was arrested in connection with a robbery and reports were made a man seen “threatening people with a hammer”.

Following the attack yesterday, social media was flooded with residents concerned about rising crime in the wake of another violent attack.

Eileen Monaghan said: “Yet another stabbing on the High St. When are the authorities going to go something about the open drug dealing and drinking on the High Street?”

She added: “There is a PSPO Public Space Protection order on the High Street yet not enforced. Why not?

“Are the police are too afraid the walk the High St or is there too much paperwork for them to fill out?”

West Midlands Police have asked the anyone with information or footage that might help their investigation into the attack on 20 June can contact the force via Live Chat – or by calling 101 and quoting log 3798 of 20 June.

NEWS: Warren Farm Urgent Treatment Centre “temporarily relocating” to Erdington High Street

Words and pics by Ed King

Warren Farm Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) will be “temporarily relocating” to Erdington High Street, healthcare bosses have announced.

From Tuesday 11 June, the Kingstanding facility, which supported local residents with immediate medical issues, will be “fully operational” from the Erdington Health and Wellbeing Hub – a few doors down from The Church Tavern and opposite Lloyds Bank in Erdington Town Centre.

After relocating to Erdington Town Centre, NHS bosses have also told the newly located facility will be renamed the North Birmingham UTC.

Warren Farm UTC is being closed after it was discovered panels in the roof had been constructed with Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC), posing a serious health risk to both staff and patients.

David Melbourne, Chief Executive of NHS Birmingham and Solihull, said: “The decision to move the Urgent Treatment Centre is not one which has been taken lightly, but I want to emphasise that this is a temporary relocation.”

He added: “We are in the very early stages of a review of the provision of all six UTCs operating across the city and borough, and will be seeking the views of our communities to ensure provision meets the needs of our patients and families.”

But in a strange twist of fate, the new home of the Warren Farm UTC is the old home of the Erdington UTC, which was shut down in 2020 and relocated Stockland Green despite widespread protest from local residents and elected officials – including Erdingotn’s previous MP Jack Dromey, who passed away in January 2022.

And whilst residents in Erdington Town Centre may be pleased to see the return of an Urgent Treatment Centre back on the High Street, people living in Kingstanding are still unsure what immediate medical facilities, if any, they will have in their area.

This has led to protests and petitions by both Kingstanding residents and politicians, akin to those that followed the decision to close Erdington’s UTC.

However, a spokesperson for the NHS added: “No decisions about the permanent location of Warren Farm Urgent Treatment Centre will be made without a full engagement process, which will provide the local community with opportunities to share their views and experiences.”

Recently elected Kingstanding Councillor Clifton Welch (Conservative) further told Erdington Local: “I have been clear that Warren Farm Urgent Care Centre must be retained long term.

“The current building has structural issues which need to be repaired, but I have already met with the local NHS with Cllr Robert Alden (Erdington, Conservative) to consider possible ways to save the services locally.”

He added: “I understand there will be a consultation later in the year and I will be doing all I can to ensure that in North Birmingham we retain the Urgent Care Centre in Kingstanding and the Walk in Centre in Erdington.”

NEWS: ‘Racist Attack – Shut It Down – Black Pound Protest’ organised for Saturday 8 June on Erdington High Street

Words by Erdington Local editorial team

For the second week running there will be an anti-racism protest on Erdington High Street.

The protests are in response to reports of a black family and teenage boy being racially abused and attacked by a group of men from local businesses, over an alleged parking dispute outside a shop on the High Steet.

The first protest was held on Saturday 1 June, with organisers calling for a follow up event to take place on Saturday 8 June at 1pm – billed as the ‘Racist Attack – Shut It Down – Black Pound Protest’.

Erdington resident Leon Bedward, also known as DJ Warren G, his pregnant partner, and sister were attacked outside the shop on Erdington High Street on 17 May. Mr Bedward also identified a young black teenager who stepped in to help the family, who was in turn also attacked.

West Midlands Police confirmed three victims were “struck during the altercation” and are now investigating.

The police have further confirmed five men, aged from 22 to 45, were arrested on suspicion of violent disorder and racially aggravated assault, and have since been released on bail.

A West Midlands Police spokesperson told: “Several people were involved in verbal abuse following an alleged parking dispute.

“A man, a woman and a teenage boy were struck during the altercation. We are working through CCTV in the area to establish the cause of the disorder and who was involved.

“We also ask anyone who witnessed what happened and hasn’t spoken to us, to contact us via Live Chat on our website or by calling 101 quoting crime reference 20/450892/24.”

Reports of the attack, which took place on 17 May, has been widely shared on social media causing much anger and upset in the local community.

On Saturday 1 June, black community leaders and Mr Bedward, aka DJ Warren G, gave speeches through an amplified megaphone outside the shop and plan to do the same at 1pm on Saturday 8 June.  

Bishop Desmond Jadoo MBE is one of the organisers of the protests and stressed the importance of keeping race on the agenda as the country gears up for a General Election on 4 July.

Bishop Jadoo is also currently leading the ‘Justice 4 Dea-John Reid’ campaign, which wants a law to ensure juries represent the demographic and racial profile of an area.

He told Erdington Local: “Last week was a success, a peaceful demonstration by the black community calling for racist abuse on Erdington High Street to end.

“The attack on Warren is not an isolated incident and we need to show it is not fashionable to attack people.”

He added: “We are in the middle of a General Election and race has to be on the agenda. Race has fallen off the agenda in recent years, but the politicians need to be reminded it is still an issue.

“And the politicians who want to represent Erdington after this election need to show they are aware of the problems which are blighting the High Street, especially for the black community.”

Mr Bedward also stressed the event on Saturday 8 June must be a “peaceful protest”, and called for a boycott on the shop where the incident took place and for “the black pound” to be spent within the Afro-Caribbean community.

He said: “The purpose of this protest is to shed light on the racist behaviour exhibited by the store staff towards my partner and sister.

“As a result of the attack, both myself and my partner were hospitalised. This peaceful protest aims to raise awareness within the community and encourage a boycott.

“I initially tried to address this issue through Instagram, but I was subsequently attacked by 15 to 20 individuals, possibly more, from the shop staff and surrounding shops.”

He added: “It is also an opportunity for the black community to come together and support our own shops, ultimately building a stronger community for ourselves.”

In October 2005, Warren G was a DJ on a local pirate radio station and broadcasted reports coming from the local community that a black teenage girl had been gang raped by Asian men in the Beauty Queens salon in Perry Barr.

Beauty Queens is an Asian owned shop selling Afro-Caribbean products, based on Wellington Road in Perry Barr, and following the alleged attack the DJ encouraged a boycott of the business.

Warren G further organised “a peaceful protest” to highlight the issue which sadly ended in widespread violence and the tragic death of a 23 year old man, Isiah Young-Sam, who was stabbed to death.

Statements from West Midlands Police at the time told how they were “pursuing routine lines of inquiry” but that there was “no evidence to either confirm or deny the (rape) allegation”.

The ‘Racist Attack – Shut It Down – Black Pound Protest’ is being held at 1pm on Saturday 8 June at the top end of Erdington High Street, near the Six Ways Island.

NEWS: Erdington High Street cordoned off as police investigate man found with “life threatening injuries”

Words by Erdington Local editorial team / Pics taken from archive

Parts of Erdington High Street have been cordoned off today after police discovered a man with “life threatening injuries” yesterday evening.

A police investigation has been launched to find out what happened to the man, who is now in hospital, after patrolling officers found him at 7:30pm on Thursday 6 June.

At the time of writing there is no confirmation on how the man suffered his injuries, and police have not stated if it was or was not a result of any violent attack.

Several outlets around the Halifax Building Society and Craft Bakery, opposite the top of Harrison Road, have been sealed off with blue and white police tape whilst officers conduct their inquiries.

Shops have shut down to allow the investigation, with many workers sent home this morning.

A statement from West Midlands Police confirmed: “An investigation has been launched after a man was found with serious injuries in Erdington High Street.

“Officers patrolling the area found a man with serious injuries in Erdington High Street, at around 7.30pm on Thursday 6th June.

“He was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries, where he remains.

“A scene is currently being held to establish the circumstances as to how the man was injured.”

Police are further asking for anyone to contact them with information that may assist their inquiries, whilst assuring concerned members of the public there will be “a police presence” on the High Street whilst they conduct their investigation.

A spokesperson for the force added: “If you saw anything or can help with the investigation, you can contact us via Live Chat on our website, or by calling 101 quoting log 4572 of 6 June.

“Officers will continues to patrol the area and a police presence will remain to reassure the community.”

A spokesperson form West Midlands Ambulance Service added: “We were called at 7.31pm to an incident on High Street, Erdington. One ambulance attended the scene.

“Upon arrival we found a man in a serious condition.

“He received treatment from ambulance staff at the scene before being conveyed to hospital for further treatment.”

NEWS: Erdington’s MMA rising star Mo ‘Terminator’ Zubair wins crucial fight by first round knock out

Words by Erdington Locsal editorial team

Erdington’s Mo ‘Terminator’ Zubair scored an astonishing first round knock-out victory in a crucial MMA fight last weekend, spectacularly announcing his entrance to professional MMA fighting.

On Saturday 1 June, Mo Zubair headed to Darlington for the second fight in his burgeoning professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) career – to challenge hometown favourite Liam Thomas.

After taking the fight after only eight days notice, Mo stepped up a weight to take on the more seasoned opponent but stunned The Dolphin Centre crowd by knocking Thomas out stone cold.

It took the Erdington fighter just 13 seconds to win, which quickly went viral across MMA websites across the world.

Mo Zubair, a Team Renegade trained fighter, caught Thomas flush on the chin with a counter punch which sent him crashing to the canvas and the referee scrambling to protect him from anymore punishment.

Mo told Erdington Local: “It was a successful night. We left Birmingham at 2pm, got up there around 5.30pm, registered, had a coffee and then fought around 10pm.

“I won after 13 seconds in the first round. There was a huge noise with the shock, I think. We were back in Birmingham by 2.30am.

“I was up the next day to meet my manager for a sauna and was back training again this morning (Monday).”

In a sport which more than any other relies on an athlete’s ability to excite fans as well as winning, Mo’s devastating finish will make him a more attractive proposition to promoters’ match makers.

He continued: “People love to see a knock-out, especially other fighters; I had Leon Edwards message me straight after the fight saying great finish. And he was buzzing in the gym this morning, it was great seeing the team again after a win like that.

“One of videos has already had 80,000 views and I’ve noticed some veteran UFC fighters’ comments saying great knock-out which is brilliant exposure for me.”

The route to the top table of the sport involves being invited and then excelling in various MMA tournaments and championships.

UFC world champions and stars like Leon Edwards and Conor McGregor were champions in promotions like Cage Warriors and Bellator before catching the eye of the most powerful man in the sport Dana White.

In March this year, Mo Zubair won his first professional MMA fight again Nestor Santana, beating the Spaniard by corner stoppage in the first round.

Last weekend’s fight was part of Unity Fighting Championships, Mo’s second professional MMA appearance, and has already set his sights set on climbing the ladder.

Mo added: “I think this was my first and only fight on a Unity bill, my team will take stock and look at our options.

“I am a prize fighter, I will fight anywhere, anytime, providing the money is right.

“I want another two fights this year. I want to end 2024 4-0.”

Click on the links to follow Mo ‘Terminator’ Zubair on Instagram and Facebook.

For more form Unity Fighting Championships visit www.facebook.com/unityfighting

 

 

NEWS: Local community join city leaders at candlelit vigil for killed schoolboy Dea-John Reid

Words by Erdington Local editorial team / Pics by Joe Marchant

On Friday 31 May, the Kingstanding and local community stood in silence at the exact spot where 14-year-old Dea-John Reid was stabbed to death in 2021 – at a special memorial event held three years ago to the day the schoolboy was killed in broad daylight on College Road.

Those attending the candlelit vigil include Dea-John’s friends and family, alongside local community leaders, Erdington MP Paulette Hamilton, Edgbaston MP Preet Gill, Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster, and Birmingham City Council Leader John Cotton.

The mood was mournful but defiant, unlike the vigil a week after Dea-John’s death in 2021 which pulsated with anger after hundreds of protestors descended on the area from across the country.

The racial tinderbox which could have exploded in the aftermath of the schoolboy’s killing never did, due to the hard work of local community members who worked to untie and not divide the Kingstanding or North Birmingham community.

However, the subsequent not guilty verdicts from the highly publicised murder trail sadly did little to quell the growing frustration and anger.

But that anger turned to action, and the ‘Justice 4 Dea-John’ campaign has been working to make changes to the judicial process that they feel let them down in 2021.

Addressing the crowd at the 31 May vigil on College Road, the ‘Justice 4 Dea-John’ campaign informed how they want to create ‘Dea-John’s Law’ – which would see jury members reflect the racial make up of an area.

In the 2021 murder trial, 11 jurors in Dea-John’s case were white in a city of 52% ethnic minority residents.

Bishop Desmond Jadoo and Dea-John’s mother, Joan Morris, led prayers at the spot where the teenager died.

Bishop Jadoo told Erdington Local: “This evening has been a success. I was pleased to see the Leader of Birmingham Council and the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner here today, as well as MPs.

“What happened here three years ago, if filmed it would have been something like Mississippi Burning, and though it is important to remember Dea-John’s name and honour his memory we have to try and change the system which let him down.”

He added: “To have the backing and help of the University of Birmingham is also really important to our campaign. We have got support from young people who want to get involved, they want to see the

“We are campaigning for a civil rights law too. We cannot forget the horrific injustice which Dea-John suffered on the last day of his life and when the verdict was passed by 11 white jurors.”

At 7.34pm, a minute’s silence was held for Dea-John and then balloons were let off into the sky followed by chants declaring: “Say his name, Dea-John Reid”.

Birmingham City Council Leader Councillor John Cotton told Erdington Local: “I came to show solidarity with Dea-John’s family and stand with the community today. What happened here three years was a terrible racist murder.

“We are a majority minority city and I think the campaign is important because I believe public institutions need to reflect the communities they make decisions about.”

He added: “I think juries should reflect their communities.”

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster also told: “I think it was necessary to pay our respects to Dea-John and give our condolences to Dea-John’s family.

“Any change to the criminal justice system should be done after evidence led academic study. I think Birmingham University coming on board with the campaign which will give it an academic rigor which is needed.”

PICTURE GALLERY: Candlelit vigil for Dea-John Reid on third anniversary of schoolboy’s death

For more on the ‘Justice 4 Dea-John Reid’ campaign visit www.facebook.com/Justice4DeaJohnReid

NEWS: Local residents invited to ‘Spring into Summer’ as Perry Common Festival returns on 15 June

Words and pics by Ed King / Promotional artwork supplied by WLCA

Local residents across Perry Common are invited to ‘Spring into Summer’ as the Perry Common Festival is set to return on Saturday 15 June, running from 12noon to 3pm.

Held on The Ring in the centre of Witton Lodge Road, the communal grass area by Storywood School and St Martin’s Church, the family friendly event is free to attend – with some activities costing only £1.

Event organisers are promoting a variety of events and entertainment for adults and children of all ages – including a super slide, bouncy castle, donkey rides, and a football cage.

The festival will also offer a chance to meet some of the emergency services that look after Perry Common residents, with a public engagement presence from both the local Fire Service and police.

Organised by Witton Lodge Community Association (WLCA) and The Active Wellbeing Society – with support from Urban Devotion Birmingham, St Matin’s Church, and The Friends of Witton Lakes – the annual event was first held in 2010.

But due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the community summer festival was put on hiatus for four years – eventually returning to Perry Common in 2023.

A recognised “highlight for our community”, a spokesperson from WLCA further told how they are “are excited to continue this tradition in 2024” following the successful return of the festival last year.

The event takes on an extra special meaning in 2024 as it will also mark the 30th anniversary of Witton Lodge Community Association, the resident founded organisation established in 1994 after Birmingham City Council announced plans to demolish the estate.

Taking inspiration from the Stockfield Community Association in Acock’s Green, WLCA now manages over 200 homes in Perry Common and has spearheaded successful community developments – including the renovation of Perry Common Hall and transforming the old gatekeeper’s cottage and grounds at Witton Lakes into a thriving community garden and innovative Eco Hub.

WLCA have also used The Ring on Witton Lodge Road for a world record breaking community challenge, where they built the world’s largest holly wreath around the railings – with help from the local residents and children the at neighbouring Storywood School

Measuring a staggering 358.3m in circumference and 136.1m in diameter, the giant wreath was made of holly branches from Sutton Park and Christmas decorations donated Birmingham City Council.

Paul Tse, Flourishing Community Development Officer at Witton Lodge Community Association, added: “We are so excited to host the 2024 Spring into Summer Festival in the heart of Perry Common.

“2024 marks thirty years of Witton Lodge Community Association and we are delighted to host this event as part of our 30th anniversary celebrations!

“This event really captures and celebrates the vibrant community spirit that exists in our community, and we can’t wait to welcome everyone on the day!”

The Perry Common ‘Spring into Summer’ Festival will be held on Saturday 15 June at The Ring, Witton Lodge Road, Perry Common, B23 5JD. The event will run from 12noon to 3pm – admission is free with some activities costing £1.

For more information on Perry Common Festival and the other projects from Witton Lodge Community Association visit www.wittonlodge.org.uk or phone (0121) 382 1930

NEWS: Erdington’s Mo ‘Terminator’ Zubair looks to climb the professional MMA ranks with second fight on 1 June

Pics supplied by Mo Zubair

Erdington fighter Mo ‘Terminator’ Zubair is looking to climb the ranks of professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), accepting the high profile bout with eight only days notice.

Mo is taking on hometown favourite Liam Thomas in Darlington tomorrow night (Saturday, 1 June) in what will be a massive jump in class from his first fight – where he beat Spain’s Nestor Santana on 2 March this year.

(Click here to read more on Mo ‘Terminator’ Zubair’s first professional MMA fight.)

Mo is also jumping up a weight to share a ring with fancied feather weight Thomas.

However, a victory would accelerate Mo’s ascent to the top table of the sport – the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

To achieve his dream Mo will have to excel, excite, and impress in a succession of other MMA tournaments.

The 23-year-old told Erdington Local: “I am fighting in the Unity Fighting Championships against Liam Thomas.

“He is more experienced than me and had an impressive boxing career before switching to MMA.”

He added: “I took the fight with just eight days notice and I am going up a weight. But I am a full time professional fighter so I am fit enough to compete.”

Mo’s confidence stems from being a respected long-standing member of Team Renegade. The Northfield based MMA gym boasts a stable of fighters renowned across the world including UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards, a fellow Erdingtonian.

He said: “I train with the best in the world, every day I am learning from the best and competing with the best.

“The Team Renegade mindset is a winning one, so of course I would accept a fight which will be massive for my career if I win.”

He added: “I will have Team Renegade cornermen with me for the fight, they have seen it all.”

Mo hit the weight ahead of the bout, tipping the scales at 65.8 kg and believes his eight day preparation might even give him the edge. He is also hopeful of any hometown support whilst fighting up north.

Mo added: “If there are any Brummies or Erdington people in and around Darlington then come down and support me!”

The Unity Fighting Championship is at The Dolphin Centre, Darlington, on Saturday 1 June. Doors open at 6pm.

To follow Mo ‘Terminator’ Zubair on Instagram visit www.instagram.com/mozubairmma

For more on The Dolphin Centre visit www.facebook.com/HealthyDarlington

NEWS: Conservatives win Kingstanding by-election with 5.8 percent swing of votes

Words by Erdington Local election editorial team 

The Conservatives have won the Kingstanding by-election with a 5.8 percent swing of the votes, in a result which will take on national significance ahead of the General Election.

Under the party name Local Conservatives, Clifton Frederick Welch polled 829 votes – retaining the second councillor seat in the North Birmingham Ward for the Conservatives.

Mr Welch had previously stood for the Pype Hayes Ward in local council elections, losing out to Labour’s candidates by 92 votes in 2022 and only 16 votes in 2018.

Coming in second place in the Kingstanding by-election, Naz Rasheed won 680 votes for Labour – losing by 149 votes to the party’s main political rival.

In third place, and significantly behind the front two candidates, was Lucy Haywood for the Liberal Democrats who received 82 votes.

Christopher Lee was forth with 72 votes for the Green Party, Pete Higgins of George Galloway’s Workers Party of Great Britain came in fifth with 46 votes, whilst Kris O’Sullivan of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition took only 20 votes in sixth place. There were ten spoiled ballots counted.

Yesterday’s by-election in Kingstanding was sparked by the resignation of the Ward’s former Conservative Councillor Rick Payne’s – after a slew of his racist social media comments were made public following an investigation by national anti-racism charity HOPE Not Hate.

The by-election was the first Erdington constituency poll since Birmingham City Council was effectively publicly declared bankrupt, after a section 114 notice was issued by city officers in September 2023.

The nationally reported financial chaos brought in Government appointed commissioners, and saw Birmingham’s current Labour run Council increase Council Tax bills by 20 per cent over the next two years and pass a cost-cutting budget which axed lifeline services for the city most vulnerable adults and children.

The election is also the last meaningful vote before the General Election scheduled on 4 July. A Conservatives win in Kingstanding, with a 5.8 per cent swing, will send shockwaves throughout Westminster.

The result will be analysed by all the national parties and commentators looking for trends which can shed a light on voters intentions in the General Election.

The combined vote for the leftwing alternative to Labour, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition and the Workers Party was 66 votes which even if had gone to Labour would have still seen the Tories win.

Even if the Green vote, which many tactically vote instead of Labour, were added to the Workers and Socialist Parties the Tories still would have come out on top.

Further possibly reflecting the national trend, less than 1,700 Kingstanding residents turned out to vote in the by-election, with the official figures yet to be released by Birmingham City Council.

Rishi Sunak’s election team will likely seize on the result of what in national terms is an obscure by-elections as a glimmer of hope they can still win the General Election.

Following the results of the KIngstanding by-election, the Birmingham Conservative Group tweeted: “Birmingham Local Conservatives have won the Kingstanding by-election – with a 5.8% swing. The people of Kingstanding have sent a clear message to bankrupt Birmingham Labour over their double whammy of higher taxes and fewer services!”

At the time of writing, no message had been posted by either Birmingham Labour or their candidate Naziah Rasheed.

Polling company Election Maps UK claimed the Tories vote went up 4.7%, clinching 47.9% of the vote, whilst Labour’s vote dropped by 6.1% since the the 2022 local elections.

Councillor Welch is a familiar face in Erdington, campaigning in Pype Hayes with Birmingham City Council Conservative Group leader and Erdington Councillor Bobby Alden.

Erdington Conservative candidate for the General Election Steve Knee was knocking doors with Councillor Welch over the last week.

He said: “It was great to be supporting Clifton Welch in Kingstanding! Two out of the three days of this Bank Holiday weekend were spent in support of Clifton Welch in Kingstanding.”

Erdington Local has approached all political parties for comment.

For more on both local and national elections held across the UK, alongside advice on how to register to vote, visit www.electoralcommission.org.uk

NEWS: ‘Justice 4 Dea-John’ campaign to hold candlelit vigil on anniversary of schoolboy’s broad daylight killing

Original pics by Ed King

A candlelit vigil is set to be held in honour of schoolboy Dea-John Reid, three years to the day after the teenager was killed in broad daylight on a busy Kingstanding road.

Weeks after the tragedy, on Sunday 6 June 2021, an immediate event was organised to bring the community together called ‘Shine-a-Light vigil for Dea-John Reid’.

To see the Erdington Local PICTURE GALLERY from the 2021 vigil for Dea-John Reid, click here.

Now on Friday 31 May, at 6:30pm, people are invited to gather once again at the very spot Dea-John died on College Road – just opposite the McDonald’s fast food outlet.

Organised by the ‘Justice 4 Dea-John’ campaign and led by Bishop Desmond Jaddoo MBE – a prominent Kingstanding resident and local spokesperson who supported the family of the killed youngster after his death and throughout the subsequent trail – the peaceful memorial will be attended by Dea John’s family and friends.

Also attending will be local politicians, religious leaders, police representatives, and campaigners demanding a change to the law after the Crown failed to secure a murder verdict back in 2021.

After being arrested and charged with murder of schoolboy Dea-John Reid, the three juveniles and two adult men accused were eventually cleared – following days of CCTV footage being shown to the jury, including the moment the stabbing took place.

The teenager who delivered the fatal blow, a single stab wound with a large kitchen knife to the chest, was eventually found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to six year and a half years in custody – with an order to serve half of it in a juvenile detention centre.

The three youngsters accused of murder were brought to trial under joint enterprise, a heavily contested legal doctrine which the House of Commons Justice Committee describes as “a form of secondary liability” where co-defendants can be “liable for all criminal acts committed” by the “principal defendant… in the course of their joint criminal venture.”

The Birmingham Crown Court jury consisted of 11 white members, which Dea-John’s family and advisor Bishop Desmond Jaddoo believes affected the verdict.

Since the trial, a campaign titled ‘Justice 4 Dea-John Reid’ has been fighting to change the legal system under a newly proposed ‘Dea-John’s Law’ – which would allow legal representation to challenge the makeup of a jury, currently selected at random from the electoral register, so they can better represent aspects of the crime.

The campaign has even attracted the attention of academics at Birmingham University, with Associate Professor Katharina Karcher publishing a paper earlier this year titled: ‘Re-examining CCTV Footage and Re-imagining Justice through a Critical Black Gaze: The ‘Justice 4 Dea-John Reid’ Campaign’s Dark Sousveillance.’

In a social media post about the upcoming vigil on 31 May, Bishop Desmond Jaddoo MBE said: “Please join us as we remember Dea-John, as we continue supporting his family, and as we tell you the next steps in the justice campaign as we launch our quest for ‘Dea-John’s Law’”.

Bishop Jaddoo further told Erdington Local: “This vigil is being held in the middle of a General Election campaign so we will be calling on the major parties to back ‘Dea-John’s Law’.

“The vigil is being held three years to the day Dea-John was killed after being hunted by racists.

“And it is also being held the day after the Kingstanding by-election, which is being held because a ward councillor was caught tweeting vile and racist messages and was forced to resign.”

Joan Morris, Dea-John Reid’s mother, also does not want her son to be forgotten.

She added: “Upon reflection, I will never see Dea-John become a footballer or the dentist that he dreamed off. Nor see Dea- John get engaged and married; nor see Dea-John have children; nor his own home… or even just simply have a conversation with him face-to-face.

“The final act of love I could show to my son was to ensure he had the send-off which he deserved.

“Whilst members of the perpetrator’s family will be able to visit their loved one and eventually see him released back in the community, my only visit to Dea-John is to a grave in a cemetery.”

She continued: “He was hunted by a lynch mob, reminiscent of a scene from Mississippi Burning, being called a ‘n**er’ and as evidence was given a ‘black b**tard’ and ‘bang him out’.

“A jury that was not reflective of Birmingham, who bought the stories given by the defendants in this case, and delivering a verdict against this young man in the dock of merely manslaughter.”

The candlelit vigil to remember Dea-John Reid and inform people about the “next steps” in the ‘Justice 4 Dea-John Reid’ campaign is reported to include songs and speeches, with candles being lit at the exact moment the teenager died of on the Kingstanding road.

Bishop Jaddoo said the Leader of Birmingham Council, Councillor John Cotton (Labour, Glebe Farm and Tile Cross), as well as senior members of West Midlands Police, will be attending the event.

The vigil will be held at 6:30pm on Friday 31 May, on College Road in Kingstanding – opposite McDonald’s, near Watney Grove and Wooton Grove.

For more on the ‘Justice 4 Dea-John Reid’ campaign visit www.facebook.com/Justice4DeaJohnReid