Three Birmingham men have been charged with the murder of 16-year-old Abdullah Muhammad face jail following a five-week trial.
One of the men, Demille Innis pleaded guilty to murder and two robberies only four days into the trial and today (26/09) the two Amari Tulloch and Delero Walters were found to be responsible for the robbery of two people and the subsequent manslaughter of Abdullah on 20 February this year.
In-depth CCTV enquiries led West Midlands Police detectives to Innis, aged 20, and 18-year-old Walters who were seen boarding a bus to travel to Small Heath where they met Tulloch. The group then spent hours wandering the streets identifying their victims.
The group threatened and robbed two people of their phones and watches a short distance from where Abdullah was fatally stabbed moments later.
Abdullah and his brother, who was 15 at the time, were walking through Sara Park when they were approached by the trio. Seemingly becoming their next victims, they started asking the brothers questions in order to get their attention before launching into an unprovoked attack.
The 15-year-old was almost instantly knocked to the ground and injuries to Abdullah’s hand suggest he attempted to grab the blade from Innis. Tragically, his attempts to defend himself were unsuccessful and he was fatally stabbed.
Emergency services were called and members of the public rushed to his aid, but despite their best efforts, Abdullah was sadly pronounced dead at the scene after suffering a fatal wound in his chest.
Within two minutes of meeting the brothers and callously leaving Abdullah for dead, the trio fled the scene and made their way out of the park, heading for Tulloch’s brother’s flat.
Days after the incident, 20-year-old Tulloch travelled to Bradford in an attempt to evade police but was arrested on 10 March in Lincolnshire, after being involved in other offences.
A search of his property found a number of knives and one, in particular, a hunting style knife contained traces of Abdullah’s blood, as well as a Michael Kors watch belonging to one of the robbery victims.
By 22 March, both Innis and Walters were arrested and the trio were charged with murder and two counts of robbery.
Innis, of Pugh Crescent, pleaded guilty to murder and robbery on 4 September and Walters, from Handsworth, and Tulloch, from Sparkhill, have been found guilty of manslaughter and two robberies. The trio are due to be sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court tomorrow (27/09).
Abdullah’s dad penned a powerful victim impact statement that was read out at court to underline the pain and loss their family feel since losing their son.
He said: “My son Abdullah was a loving, respectable and hardworking young man, who would always look out for and help his brothers and sisters, who clearly looked up to him in admiration.
“We were planning for Abdullah to learn to drive and assist in his further education in Business Studies and to help with the family which he was excited to do.
“That’s all gone now; everything has changed for our family here and abroad. His death has left a massive hole within our family and we miss him so very much.
“Abdullah and his brother were completely innocent within this event, but they were still subject to a horrific experience which cost him his life and caused my younger son both physical and continuing psychological pain.
“I know my son did not die a coward, when faced with danger he fought for his own and his brother’s life against men carrying a disgracefully frightening weapon.
“The worst day of my life was the day I had to wash, prepare and then bury my son. I saw what these men did to him. No parent should have to experience that.
“These men, through their chosen actions have taken the most precious gift we have… life and we will never forget the honourable man who is and always will be our beloved son, Abdullah Muhammad.”
Superintendent Edward Foster, from Birmingham West Neighbourhood Policing Unit, said, “This was a horrific, unprovoked attack on two teenagers who were going out about their business, resulting in a teenager tragically losing his life, all seemingly for a mobile phone.
“We want to recognise the bravery of Abdullah’s brother and the robbery victim for being witnesses in the trial, their accounts were invaluable in helping us bring these men to justice.
“We worked tirelessly on this investigation and I am pleased to see all three of them behind bars and we want this to portray a strong message to everyone who thinks about carrying a knife.
“West Midlands Police continues to work to tackle knife crime; we are working towards making it much harder to purchase knives from the internet and continue to work with young people to recognise the consequences of knife crime.
“This was one of three murders of teenagers in a short period of time in Birmingham and this result concludes all three cases, resulting in a total of five men jailed.”
Last week, West Midlands Police launched a groundbreaking video, to be shown in schools across the West Midlands featuring a convicted killer talking about his experience in a bid to deter young people from knife crime.