Smethwick death: six jailed

Six men have been jailed for a string of violent offences which led to the death of Walsall teenager Ben Morutare outside a birthday party in Smethwick last year.

Ben Morutare death: six jailed

Ben Morutare bled to death after he was stabbed in the leg Credit: West Midlands Police

Six men have been jailed for a total of 23 years for violent crimes during a night of violence, which led to the death of a teenager.

16-year-old Ben Morutare was attacked after a birthday party in Smethwick in July 2012.

The accused were convicted of crimes ranging from violent disorder to manslaughter.

Mother pays tribute to tragic Ben after guilty verdicts

The mother of tragic stab death teenager Ben Morutare has paid tribute to her son after six men were found guilty of violence on the night he was attacked.

Ben, aged 16, bled to death after being stabbed in the leg, severing an artery.

His mother Grace said: "You would think that with time the pain of losing our Ben would get a bit easier but it’s been the toughest time of our lives, the fact that we will never see Ben again is the most painful and unbearable thought.

Ben Morutare
Ben Morutare Credit: West Midlands Police

She added: "No family should go through what we have gone through. We will always love and miss our Ben dearly.

"We would like to thank our family liaison officer who has been there for us and West Midlands Police who worked endlessly to see justice done for our Ben."

The Old Comrades Club in Smethwick where the fight broke out
The Old Comrades Club in Smethwick where the fight broke out Credit: West Midlands Police

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Officer says teen's death was 'despicable and tragic'

A leading police officer in the investigation into the death of Walsall teenager Ben Morutare said it had been a "despicable crime with a tragic and unnecessary loss of life."

Det Insp Gary Plant, from West Midlands Police's major investigation review team, paid tribute to those who had helped with the investigation and said officers had spoken to more than 1,000 people while trying to track down those responsible.

He said:

The murder of little Ben was a despicable crime with a tragic and unnecessary loss of life.

Together with his friends and hundreds of other teenagers, [Ben] attended a birthday party that was advertised via social media. As a consequence, a small minority of people singled out Ben and his friends and attacked them, all because they were not local to the area

Ben was a small boy who, when seen on CCTV alongside his attackers, looks like a small child by comparison. Even paramedics attending the scene initially believed he was 12 or 13.

Ben’s grieving family have been left devastated by their loss and we hope that these verdicts offer them some comfort as they continue to mourn their son, brother and nephew.

Our thoughts are with Ben and his family at this time.

Ben Morutare death: How the night unfolded

It started with cross words and pushing - but ended with the death of a 16-year-old boy.

Walsall teenager Ben Morutare was at the party at the Old Comrades Club in Smethwick when the fight broke out, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told during the trial.

One of Ben's friends was chased along Fenton Street and into St Paul's Road by a group of men, where he was assaulted and robbed. Others focused on Ben, chasing him across the Asian Family Support Centre car park and into Chatwin Street.

He was attacked and stabbed in the upper thigh, severing a main artery. He bled to death.

A video showing CCTV footage of the fight has now been released by police.

Andy Ly, 18, admitted Ben’s manslaughter, while Omar Robinson, 19, pleaded guilty to violent disorder. Dale Reid, 18, had pleaded guilty to violent disorder at an earlier hearing.

Four other men were convicted of violent disorder. Tahj Mills, 19, Jordan Campbell, 18 and Tobias Blake, 20, were all found guilty this week, with Blake also being convicted of possession of an offensive weapon.

They will be sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court in the coming months.

Six men convicted over Ben Morutare death

Six men aged between 18 and 20 have been found guilty of an array of violent crimes during a birthday party fight which spiralled out of control and ended with the stabbing of a 16-year-old boy.

Ben Morutare, from Walsall, was stabbed in the leg outside the Old Comrade Club in Smethwick on July 27 last last year. He died later in hospital.

Ben Morutare, aged 16, died after being stabbed in the leg outside the Old Comrades Club in Smethwick last year
Ben Morutare, aged 16, died after being stabbed in the leg outside the Old Comrades Club in Smethwick last year Credit: West Midlands Police

Andy Ly, aged 18, admitted Ben’s manslaughter seven weeks into the trial, whilst his co-defendant Omar Robinson, 19, pleaded guilty to violent disorder.

Tahj Mills, 19, Jordan Campbell, 18 and Tobias Blake, 20, were all found guilty of violent disorder this week.

Blake was also convicted of possession of an offensive weapon. Dale Reid, 18, pleaded guilty to violent disorder at an earlier hearing.

An 18-year-old from Edgbaston was found not guilty of violent disorder yesterday and a second man, 19, was found not guilty of violent disorder today.