THREE men have been found guilty of being involved in the murder of teenager Sheriff Mbye who was stabbed in Northfield in April after a row over the sale of a mobile phone.
The 19-year-old came to the town with friends Rakeem Riley and Omar Robinson, allegedly to buy fishing knives, but there was a chance encounter with Montell Stephens.
That led to a series of events which saw Mbye dead and Stephens fighting for his life.
Sheriff bought a second hand phone from Stephens before but was not happy with it and wanted his money back.
Stephens had already spent the cash and the pair ended up getting into a fight.
Mbye was walking down Bristol Road South with Riley and Robinson when they saw Stephens coming out of a barber’s shop.
A fight broke out and Stephens ran across the road, while the other three men ran back to their white Audi which was parked nearby.
They then drove into Lockwood Road and Mbye leapt out of the car to continue the fighting. Stephens, who had a knife on him, and lunged at Mbye.
One of the recently bought knives was used to inflict injury on Stephens who ran back into the barber’s shop, collapsing on the floor after dumping his knife and a pair of latex gloves.
Luckily, a member of the public was able to carry out first aid which helped save his life but Mbye, who was bundled into the Audi and driven to hospital by Robinson, died shortly later.
Stephens, 19, of William Savage Way, Smethwick, was found guilty of Sheriff’s murder after a four-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court on Monday (November 9).
Riley, 19, of no fixed address and 21-year-old Robinson, of Rann Close, Ladywood, were found guilty of aiding and abetting the offence.
Riley and Robinson were also convicted of wounding with intent against Stephens. Both charges were under the doctrine of joint enterprise as they were found to have encouraged the fight and were involved in facilitating the incident.
The jury took just over 17 hours to reach their decision and all three will be sentenced on tomorrow (Wednesday).
Det Insp Jim Munro added: “Our sympathies remain with Sheriff’s family as they have, no doubt, had to relive the trauma of losing him again throughout this trial, but I hope that the conviction today brings them some comfort.
“Sadly the truth is that had these men not been carrying knives they may well have had a bit of a dust up and most likely walked away with a few cuts and bruises – who knows, it may well have settled their differences.
“But carrying a knife, or indeed anything that could be used as a weapon, is a game changer – if you set foot in public with a knife you not only endanger other people’s lives but also your own.
“If someone with a knife gets caught up in a row or scuffle there’s every chance that knife could be used to injure or kill − and may well be used against the carrier.
“Anyone using a knife in anger can expect to waste much of their life behind bars.”