From the double-killer burglar given a minimum of 38 years to the drunk aeroplane passenger facing three months after vomiting on himself – these are the latest Midlands criminals to be sent to prison. Our March roundup includes multiple murderers as well as a major drug smuggling gang.
We have included the high profile cases which concluded or were publicised during the month resulting in an immediate jail sentence. Look out for:
- The ‘delusional’ Tinder-match who stabbed a model to death
- The coward paedophile who fled to Canada
- The killer who fatally knifed a clubber after being ‘disrespected’
- The jilted boyfriend who mowed down his ex’s new boyfriend
READ MORE: Warning tragic Hakeem Hussain could ‘die over the weekend’ with drug-addict mother was ignored, court told
We have focused our attention on the high-profile cases we covered in Birmingham, Solihull, the Black Country, Staffordshire and Worcestershire. Read the full list below and scroll to the bottom to find out which criminal police described as a ‘truly dangerous man’.
County Lines drug dealer Eugene Brannigan was given a rude awakening when police stormed a Birmingham flat and found him bed. Officers had sourced a key to the apartment in Lombard Street, Deritend, to the stunned surprise of the 27-year-old who said: “How did you get in?”.
He had been supplying drugs across Balsall Heath and Birmingham city centre as the man behind the ‘Big Ali’ line, estimated to have moved more than £55,000 worth of illegal substances. Brannigan, of Woodville Road, Kings Heath, admitted supplying Class A drugs.
Sentence – Six years, nine months – Full story here
Mohammed Schwitters subjected a girl to a sexual abuse campaign over seven years. When he was finally arrested in July 2017 after the victim came forward, the coward skipped the country to Canada. Police spent three years hunting him down and tracked his mobile number and bank account to a mechanic’s workshop in Toronto.
Before being extradited he was held in custody in Canada where a fellow inmate attacked him after discovering what he was accused of. Schwitters, aged 55 and previously of Small Heath, admitted 10 offences including multiple charges of child sexual assault, attempted rape and assault by penetration.
Sentence – 18 years – Full story here
Violent bully Mario Sassano carried out a number of attacks on a woman including strangling her and biting her nose – leaving the victim disfigured. Two weeks on from that horrific incident he dragged her by the hair, sat on her, wrapped a cord around her neck and threatened to kill the victim.
The 43-year-old businessman later bombarded her with emails and tried to bribe her with £10,000 not to report what he had done. Sassano, from Shard End, pleaded guilty to two charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and another of engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour.
Sentence – Five years – Full story here
Ian Manderfield was caught in possession of more than 100 indecent images and videos of children when police raided his home in Cannock in October 2020. He later admitted three counts of making indecent photographs of a child, three counts of distributing indecent images, two counts of being in possession of an extreme pornographic image and publishing an obscene article.
Sentence – Three years, ten months – Full story here
Christopher Arnold broke into a retired couple’s home in Sutton Coldfield and stole jewellery, electrical goods and sentimental belongings. But crucially the 46-year-old left his fingerprints on a newspaper at the property which were subsequently analysed and used to identify him.
Arnold went to ground but a public appeal for information prompted a tip-off he was in Kingstanding, which led to his arrest. He denied burglary but was found guilty.
Sentence – Three years – Full story here
Neil Millichamp burgled two homes in Sutton Coldfield stealing sentimental jewellery. The 48-year-old cut his hand on a shard of glass during the first raid and left a smear of his blood on a door handle, which led to him being identified.
When police then raided his home they found items which had been taken from another break-in, although Millichamp himself was out. He evaded investigators for three months before being caught in Birmingham. Millichamp admitted two charges of burglary.
Sentence – Three years, six months – Full story here
Daniel Sidwell was part of a gang who attacked a plumber with a machete whilst looking for drugs. The victim barricaded himself in a room when the group stormed into the apartment in Sheldon.
He feigned unconsciousness for the attack to stop and suffered a severed thumb as well as injuries to his head, shins and foot. Sidwell’s main role was to drive the gang to the scene of the attack. The 34-year-old, of Wheeley Road, Solihull, admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
Sentence – Five years, three months – Full story here
Jilted Jack Richardson shot a BB gun at his ex-girlfriend’s new lover, then drove a car into the crowd of people where he was standing. The incident took place outside the Gigmill pub in Stourbridge.
The main target of the attack suffered a broken ankle while a pregnant woman was left trapped under the car’s spinning wheels. Richardson, aged 25, of West Street, Stourbridge, admitted two counts of grievous bodily harm, two counts of actual bodily harm, possession of an imitation firearm with intent, possession of cannabis and driving without insurance.
Sentence – Five years – Full story here
Zechelle Reid stabbed Jason Bentley-Morrison to death outside Lab 11 nightclub in Digbeth for allegedly ‘disrespecting’ him. A trial heard the 31-year-old appeared to ‘mouth’ something at the victim who threw a punch at him sparking a street fight. It attracted a large crowd which was captured on CCTV moving across the road.
Mr Bentley-Morrison, aged 25, was knocked to the ground and when witnesses tended to him they saw he had been stabbed. Reid, of no fixed address was found guilty of murder.
Sentence – Life, minimum 20 years – Full story here
Peter Flynn was so entrenched in drug addiction he snatched a bag from a frail pensioner on a mobility scooter in Walsall. The 35-year-old had broken up with his ex-partner who said the ‘final straw’ was the fact he stole children’s Christmas presents.
When she refused his latest demand for money he told her ‘I’m going on the rob’ and targeted the 75-year-old pensioner as she left Co-op. But a witness took a number of photographs of Flynn as he tried to escape while the incident also prompted a social media appeal for information. Flynn from Edgbaston, admitted robbery.
Sentence – Five years – Full story here
Paul McNeill and John McNeill
Burglar brothers Paul and John McNeill were caught on CCTV breaking into an Edgbaston flat where they stole a safe from a wardrobe. An accomplice who also carried out the raid has not been caught.
The pair, both of Leopold Street, in Highgate, pleaded guilty to burglary and are ‘third-strike’ offenders having committed similar offences in the past. John McNeill also admitted multiple breaches of a suspended sentence. The siblings exchanged pleasantries in court as they were jailed.
Sentences – Paul McNeill: 876 days. John McNeill: 966 days – Full story here
Tyron Murdoch crashed a Mercedes into another vehicle after stealing it in a burglary. At first the 25-year-old targeted at an Audi but could not get it to start due to the immobiliser fitted.
Police then spotted him behind the wheel of a Mercedes which he pelted through Erdington, more than doubling residential speed limits, before colliding into a parked car. Murdoch tried to run for it but was cornered in an alleyway. The 25-year-old, from Phipson Road, Sparkbrook, admitted burglary, attempted theft, theft and dangerous driving.
Sentence – Four years – Full story here
Charles Byrne stabbed model Christina Rowe to death, stuffed her body in a suitcase and dumped it in the River Severn. The 28-year-old victim had come to Britain from the Philippines in search of a better life which was brutally snuffed out after she met Byrne on Tinder.
The 25-year-old, who is schizophrenic, was described as ‘utterly delusional’ after convincing himself Christina was an imposter. After they split he talked himself into her home in the Tolladine area of Worcester, lost his temper and stabbed her once through the heart before disposing of her body.
Byrne, from Worcester, admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and attempting to kill another person. He was secured at a mental health hospital and told he would be moved to a prison when his condition improves.
Sentence – Life, minimum 16 years – Full story here
Amos Wilsher and Jason Wilsher
Killer brothers Amos and Jason Wilshire murdered 87-year-old pensioner Arthur Gumbley whilst burgling his home in Little Aston, Staffordshire. Older brother Amos, aged 29, went on to murder 88-year-old Josephine Kaye whilst acting alone in a raid in Stoke-on-Trent three years later.
He was also responsible for a planned series of robberies targeting elderly and vulnerable victims in 2017 and 2020. Mr Gumbley was punched and kicked at his home in Endwood Drive in 2017 and died three weeks after. His family put up a £10,000 reward to help bring his killers to justice.
Amos was arrested at a hotel and spa in Lincoln two weeks after committing the murder of Mrs Kaye in 2020. Jason Wilsher, aged 23, was originally found guilty of murdering Mr Gumbley but was granted a re-trial. Both brothers, from Derbyshire, were convicted of murder as well as found guilty of grievous bodily harm and conspiracy to rob.
Sentences – Amos Wilsher: Life, minimum 38 years. Jason Wilsher: Life, minimum 25 years – Full story here
Dante Morgan and Chakiah Lambert
Dante Morgan and Chakiah Lambert were part of a gang who robbed a mother’s car at gunpoint and plundered £71,000 from a raid at a Tesco during a two-week crime spree. The victim of the first incident fortunately managed to pluck her son out of the backseat but has been left traumatised by the ordeal.
The pair hit the Tesco Express store in Rowley Regis as delivery drivers were refilling the cash machine. A vehicle linked to the incidents was tracked to Handsworth where police chased down and arrested the two occupants. Morgan, of Arundel Road, Oldbury, and Lambert, of Cottersmore Close, West Bromwich, were both convicted of conspiracy to rob.
Sentences – Lambert: 14 years. Morgan: Nine years – Full story here
Yasir Mehmood unleashed two vicious attacks on his wife in one day, after she had offered to warm up his tea to calm him down. The 39-year-old taxi driver shoved the victim to the floor and repeatedly kicked her in the first barrage. When she later asked if he was sorry he replied ‘no’.
Mehmood left to go to work but upon his return erupted in violence again shoving her to the floor and grabbing her neck before a neighbour called the police. Mehmood, from Washwood Heath, was found guilty of two charges of assault following a trial.
Sentence – 12 weeks – Full story here
Thomas Kavanagh, Daniel Canning and Gary Vickery
Thomas ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh and his brother-in-laws Daniel Canning and Gary Vickery ran a £30m cocaine and cannabis-smuggling empire. Kavanagh, 54, who lived in a bullet-proof mansion in Tamworth, headed up the operation and was referred to as ‘gaffer’.
The Irishman was also said to be a high-ranking member of the ‘Kinahan’ organised-crime cartel in his homeland. Vickery, aged 39, was ‘immediately beneath’ him while Canning, 43, was subordinate to Vickery. Both had addresses in Solihull.
All three pleaded guilty to conspiring to import Class A and B drugs, as well as money laundering. Canning also admitted possessing a firearm and ammunition.
Sentences – Kavanagh: 21 years. Vickery: 20 years. Canning: 19 years – Full story here
Callum Evans, Liam Holding and Ryan Yuall
Callum Evans, Liam Holding and Ryan Yuall were in a Toyota stopped by police in Stafford after it had reportedly been driven dangerously earlier that day. Officers found drugs in the car.
Evans, aged 20, of Silkmore Lane, Stafford, was found guilty of being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine and heroin, possession with intent to supply a Class A drug and driving offences.
Holding, 27, of Burbank Burrow, Stafford, and Yuall, 23, of Oxford Gardens, Stafford, were both convicted of being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine and heroin.
Sentences – Evans: Two years, six months. Holding: Six years, four months. Yuall: Four years, three months – Full story here
Ali Ozdemir got drunk on a Jet2 flight and vomited over himself. The 49-year-old, who ran Cielo restaurant in Brindleyplace, stated he had two glasses of wine after returning from an engagement party in Turkey.
When the plane crew spoke to him he was too intoxicated to open his bag and show his passport. Ozdemir, of Oakley Road, Stirchley, admitted being drunk on an aircraft.
Sentence – Three months – Full story here
Care worker Muhammed Hassan-Omar used bank cards belonging to vulnerable adults to spend more than £1,000 on himself. The ‘greedy’ 25-year-old squandered some of the money fuelling a gambling addiction as well as buying clothes from Sports Direct – where he was captured on CCTV.
One particular victim he targeted suffered from epilepsy, autism and learning difficulties. Hassan-Omar, of Newbridge Road, Bordesley Green, admitted four charges of fraud.
Sentence – Nine months – Full story here
Daniel Cater raped a girl under 13 years of age and took an indecent photograph of a child. The 30-year-old from Cannock also attempted to cause or incite a girl under 13 to engage in sexual activity and distributed an indecent photograph of a child.
Cater was convicted after a trial. Police described him as a ‘truly dangerous man’ and praised the courage of the victim for helping to put him behind bars.
Sentence – 17 years – Full story here
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