THREE men have been jailed for life for being involved in the murder of teenager Sheriff Mbye who was stabbed several times in Northfield in April after a row over the sale of a mobile phone.
Montell 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) and was sentenced on Wednesday (November 11). He will have to serve a minimum of 25 years behind bars.
Rakeem Riley, also 19 of no fixed address, and 21-year-old Omar Robinson, of Rann Close, Ladywood, were found guilty of aiding and abetting the murder and will serve a minimum of 20 years and 22 years respectively. 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 its decisions.
Sheriff Mbye, 19, came to Northfield on April 17 with friends Riley and Robinson, allegedly to buy fishing knives, but there was a chance encounter with 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, 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.
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.”