Three men jailed for life for the murder of 18-year-old youth


Three young men have today been sentenced to life imprisonment following the murder of Sherriff Mbye who was stabbed to death in Northfield in April this year.

Montel Stephens, 19, was found guilty of murder and was given a minimum jail term of 25 years. Rakeem Riley,19, and Omar Robinson, 21, were both found guilty of aiding and abetting the murder and were sentenced to minimum terms of 20 years and 22 years.

A jury at Birmingham Crown Court heard how early in the evening of 17 April 2015, Montell Stephens had visited a barbers' shop on Northfield High Street. Mr Mbye, Omar Robinson and Rakeem Riley arrived in Northfield sometime after Mr Stephens. They attended an air sports shop on the High Street and purchased five knives. As the trio headed back to their car, they saw Stephens on the High Street a short distance from the barbers' shop.

A confrontation then took place on the High Street, which involved Mbye and Stephens. Rather than leave the scene following this confrontation Stephens actively sought a further confrontation with the others.

The protagonists met up on Lockwood Road with Robinson having driven Mbye and Riley to the location. Stephens approached on foot. He was now wearing blue surgical gloves and carrying a knife. Mbye was also armed with a knife at this point. The pair proceeded to attack each other with the weapons in their possession. They each received serious injuries and as a result Mybe would later die in hospital from those injuries.

Stephens fled the scene to the barbers' shop where he collapsed. He was treated for his injuries by members of the public. He was later arrested and charged with murder. Riley and Robinson were also arrested. Owing to their involvement in the altercation, and their encouragement of Mbye and Riley to fight with knives, both were charged with aiding and abetting the murder of Mbye.

Ian Crooks, Senior Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Montell Stephens and Sherriff Mbye both armed fought in the middle of busy suburban area of the city. This knife fight brought about the death of Mr Mbye and left Stephens with serious life-threatening injuries.

"Stephens claimed that he acted in self defence during this altercation, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. He had ample opportunity to avoid the knife fight and leave the vicinity, but he chose to stay and actively sought such a confrontation.

"Omar Robinson and Rakeem Riley have today been sentenced for the aiding and abetting murder. The jury have determined that they were not just innocent bystanders, but by being involved in the purchase of the knives and being aware that those who were to fight were to do so with such weapons. They facilitated and encouraged the fight, and on that basis they were properly charged and convicted of aiding and abetting murder.

"Today's sentences should serve as a warning to all those who either fight with knives or encourage others to so do, that such conduct will not be tolerated."