Teenager found guilty of Bartley Green murder
As a teenage boy is found guilty of murder, West Midlands Police is warning of the dangers of carrying knives in public.
A minor disagreement escalated into violence and resulted in the death of Alex Leonard in Bartley Green last year.
Mr Leonard had confronted the drunken 16-year-old who was behaving aggressively in Woodgate Gardens on the evening of 3 July.
According to witnesses the teen had bragged about carrying a knife for protection earlier that day, and when Mr Leonard challenged him, cutting his hand, the boy stabbed him in the chest.
Paramedics were unable to save 22-year-old Alex and he died in hospital.
Today (Tuesday 23 January), the judge at Birmingham Crown Court lifted reporting restrictions and allowed Cameron Martin-Leon, now 17, from Allwood Gardens, Bartley Green, to be named.
He has been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 14 years.
Detective Inspector Caroline Corfield, from the force’s Homicide Unit, said: "This case has been a tragic reminder of the dangers of anyone carrying a knife.
"This was a dreadful escalation of events which led to one young man losing his life while another faces a life sentence. Our thoughts are with their families who’s lives are also devastated by these tragic events."
The family of Alexander Leonard made the following statement on behalf of themselves and his friends:
"Lives have been destroyed and families traumatised. Life as we knew it ceased to be on 3 July 2017.
"Two mothers have had their dreams and aspirations for their sons shattered and broken as are our hearts and the hearts of everyone who knew Alex. There currently seems to be an epidemic of knife crime sweeping through our communities, we are living within a culture of fear.
"Children are carrying knives through fear of what might happen or what has happened to them or a member of their families. Whatever the reason behind this epidemic, be it social, economic, ADHD, fear or pressure, it is clear that not enough is being done about it on a local level or a national level.
"Where is the government’s support for our police forces to support communities and those who try to make a better world?"
DI Corfield added: “We are working tirelessly to understand the reasons why young people carry knives. We work closely with schools and parents to educate, as we continue to bring offenders to justice. Anyone found in possession of a knife faces the real possibility of ending up behind bars.
“We understand people’s concerns around violent crime and the effect it can have on communities. While it makes up a very small proportion of overall crime, we appreciate the disproportionate impact it has on people’s quality of life and feelings of safety.
“If people do suspect someone is carrying a knife in public, or have any concerns relating to knife crime in their community, then we want to hear from them - they can call us on 101 or contact their local neighbourhood police team via our website."