Friends convicted over fatal stabbing of young man
Four men have been convicted over a fight outside a bar in which a young man was stabbed to death, including the knifeman who faces life in jail for murder.
Ramani Sanderson attacked Shane Mayer with a machete after an innocuous exchange of words and glances rapidly escalated into a fatal confrontation.
Today (June 9) 20-year-old Sanderson was convicted of murder while pals Kamron Reid (20) and Joseph Till (21) - who both joined in the attack - were found guilty of manslaughter.
A fourth man, 21-year-old Lewis Green, was cleared of murder but had already admitted possessing a hammer in the build-up to the disorder.
It’s a case that yet again lays bare the horrors of knife crime.
Shane was with friends at Gabbas Bar in Darlaston on a July night in 2019 when glances and words were exchanged with a passer-by.
It sparked a chain of events that, just 15 minutes later, saw Shane suffer a fatal stab wound which would tragically cut short his life.
Eight minutes after the 24 July altercation Lewis Green arrived at the Forge Road pub armed with a hammer.
Green’s brother was the person who’d earlier walked past the bar and instigated trouble when he returned home to report the encounter.
Lewis Green confronted the group but left to make a call to Reid who was with Sanderson and Till.
A 34-second phone call was all it took to prompt Sanderson to arm himself with a machete and make his way with Reid and Till, who were also believed to be carrying weapons, towards Gabbas Bar.
CCTV showed Sanderson at 11.13pm approach Mr Mayer’s group with a machete concealed behind his back.
He lunged at Shane and during a fight stabbed him in the groin. The wound severed an artery which would prove fatal.
Despite the injury he managed to run off - pursued by Sanderson and Reid - but was later found collapsed in Wolverhampton Street.
Shane was taken to hospital but died three days later. He was just 21 years old.
Our detectives carried out a meticulous trawl of CCTV and plotted the offenders running away from the scene and splitting up to head to their home addresses.
Sanderson arrived home in Burns Place at 11.24pm.
Twenty minutes later a woman is seen leaving the address with a bag - returning later without it - while Sanderson emerges having changed his top.
Green handed himself in to us on 26 July and admitted brandishing a hammer in the street. But he denied involvement in the murder.
Sanderson was arrested the following day, Reid the day after, and Till - who phoned his mum for a lift home from the murder scene - detained at his home on 31 July.
They were bailed while we examined CCTV and their phones.
We found message exchanges in the days after the murder in which they plotted to provide us with consistent accounts of what happened.
Sanderson’s phone included videos of him posing with knives and talking about committing robberies, while Reid had similar ominous images of him with knives plus evidence of Google searches for knives, crossbows and guns.
Ringleader Sanderson was re-arrested from an address in London last June and, alongside his three co-defendants, charged with murder.
They claimed they acted in self-defence but a jury at Wolverhampton Crown Court didn’t believe their version of events and found them guilty.
Sanderson, who was arrested in Walsham Road, New Cross, in London but was living in Burns Place, Duddeston, at the time of the offence, was convicted of murder and wounding.
Reid from Herberts Park Road, Darlaston, and Till from Ladymoor Road in Bradley were both cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter. All three will all be sentenced at a later date.
Green was cleared of the killing but had already admitted possessing an offensive weapon in the build-up to the fatal fight.
Detective Sergeant Andy McDonald from our Homicide Unit led the investigation and welcomed the guilty verdicts.
He said: “This is yet another example of the devastation caused by knife crime. A stray glance and words exchanged between strangers has escalated to murder in the space of just 15 minutes.
“A young man’s life has been ended in tragic circumstances and the lives of those responsible for his death are now ruined.
“Sanderson stabbed Shane but we firmly believe the others were armed.
“I know this awful crime has had a devastating impact on the Shane’s family and that they are still struggling to come to terms with his death. I hope the fact his killers will now face many years behind bars offers some comfort."