Smethwick in a stew

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Man dies in Smethwick crash

Police are appealing for information after a man died following a crash in Smethwick yesterday evening.

The emergency services were called to Thimblemill Road in Warley just before 6.20pm. The incident involved two cars and a pedestrian.

A man believed to be in his 50s died at the scene.


New appeal a week after pensioner killed in hit-and-run

Crash investigators will be visiting Smethwick tonight as part of the hunt for a hit-and-run driver who left a pensioner for dead.

Bill Fenton, aged 73, died in hospital hours after he was found lying in Beakes Road with serious injuries. It is thought he was hit by a large vehicle such as a van or a 4x4.

Detectives investigating the incident say nobody has come forward so far to report the crash, and are revisiting the scene one week on in the hope somebody will remember seeing something.

Bill Fenton, aged 73, was left for dead after a crash in Smethwick last weekend
Bill Fenton, aged 73, was left for dead after a crash in Smethwick last weekend Credit: West Midlands Police

They will be in the area between 7.45pm and 10pm tonight.

Mr Fenton was found at around 9.30pm on Saturday November 23.

Sgt Paul Hughes, from West Midlands Police's collision investigation unit, said officers would be handing out leaflets as part of the appeal.

The leaflet features a picture of Bill and we would appeal to anyone who saw him that night to come forward and call me or one of my team.

I am especially keen to find out where this vehicle is – we believe that Bill may have been struck by a large vehicle, possibly a 4x4 car or a van.

The vehicle would have sustained serious damage so if anyone has noticed a neighbour, a family member or a friend’s car or van with new damage they can’t explain then call me.

I would also appeal to garage repairs owners to be wary of vehicles that are brought in with a large amount of damage.

You may think that your suspicions or information is insignificant, but I would say that this could be vital to our inquiry.

Whoever was driving must have known they had hit a person and I would appeal for them to come forward, this is your chance to tell your side of the story.


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.

Six young men to be sentenced over death of teenager

Six young men are due to appear in court this morning to be sentenced for a series of crimes during a single night, that lead to the death of a teenager.

Ben Morutare was stabbed after a birthday party in Smethwick on 27 July 2012.

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

During a ten-week trial, which ended in August, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard the 16-year-old had attended the party at the Old Comrades Club with a friend, but had attracted the attention of a group of others.

Violence broke out outside the Fenton Street venue late in the evening, which resulted in Ben Morutare suffering a stab wound to the leg.

Eighteen-year-old Andy Ly from Ladywood pleaded guilty to his manslaughter. Five others admitted violent disorder.

Read more: Six convicted for Morutare death

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

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.

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