Tributes paid to murdered teenager
2 August 2012
THE GRIEVING family of a teenage boy who was fatally stabbed outside a Smethwick club have today paid tribute to him.
Relatives of Ben Morutare, who died after attending an 18th birthday party on Friday night, have described him as a “protective son and brother”.
Ben was stabbed during a disturbance outside of the Smethwick Home Guard and Old Comrades Club in the early hours of Saturday 28 July. The 16-year-old had been stabbed in the leg and was taken to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where he later died.
A murder investigation was launched and police continue to urge witnesses to the incident to come forward.
Ben’s family today released the following statement: “Ben was a beloved son, brother and nephew. Ben was loved dearly by his family and many more who knew him.
“One thing our Ben never forgot was to constantly remind his family, especially his mom, how much he loved and cared for them. He was a protective son and brother.
“Ben would never hurt anyone, he was such a loveable child.
“Words cannot express how much we miss our Ben and the pain we are enduring. We fully appreciate all the witnesses who have come forward so far and we kindly ask and encourage other people who may have information to come forward.”
Following the teenager’s death police made contact with a number of people who had been in attendance at the party, and further information received by the investigation team led to the arrest of an 18-year-old man in Dudley on Wednesday night (1 August). He remains in police custody, being questioned on suspicion of murder.
Detective Inspector Gary Plant, from the Force Criminal Investigation Department, is leading the murder inquiry. He urges others from Friday night’s party who are yet to speak to police to come forward.
“We’ve heard from a number of people who were at the party and we are very grateful to them, but we know there are many more who may have seen something who have not yet been in touch,” he said.
“People may have taken pictures during the night, or recorded the fight which broke out outside on their mobile phones and we now ask them to do the right thing and contact us to pass this on.
“Any information, or footage, could prove vital in helping us bring the people responsible for Ben’s death to justice.
“If you were present at the Old Comrades Club, during the early hours of Saturday 28th July, and are yet to speak to the investigation team then we urge you to call us at your earliest convenience.
“We do not underestimate the devastating impact the death of this young man has had on his family and the local community.
“I would like to thank the community for their patience and support as we continue with our investigations and our thoughts and condolences remain with Ben's family at this time.”
Anyone with information can contact Force CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers confidentially on 0800 555 111.