"You carried a knife because you thought it was a good idea"
Sukhbir Singh Phull, aged 18, of Binley Road, Coventry, was jailed for a minimum term of 17 years after he stabbed a 16-year-old footballer to death. The teenager carried out the “unwarranted and vicious” attack outside a house party.
Phull was convicted in September 2020 over the murder of former Aston Villa academy player Ramani Morgan.
Warwick Crown Court heard that Ramani, of Erdington, Birmingham, had gone to a house party in Chandos Street, Coventry, on February 29, 2020.
Phull was among those already there when he arrived.
However, things turned ugly and the guests were asked to leave, with an argument breaking out involving Ramani and Phull.
Ramani had been carrying a knuckle duster that night and used it on Phull before being stabbed four times. One of the knife wounds had pierced Ramani’s heart.
He was found collapsed in nearby Clay Lane and taken to hospital but died of his injuries shortly before midnight.
It was heard that Ramani was fatally injured less than half an hour after arriving at the party.
Judge Andrew Lockhart QC told the teenager:
“You carried a knife because you thought it was a good idea and because you would be able to readily resort to its use with lethal force should you deem it necessary.”
Judge Lockhart said the case was aggravated by the fact that Phull, who had not been invited to the party, had drunk spirits and taken cannabis before attacking Ramani.
Judge Lockhart added: “You were so disinhibited that you were more likely to get angry at the smallest perceived slight.
“This was to be an attack… where you knew you held, ready to deploy if needed, a huge lethal knife.”
The judge described the attack as “wholly unwarranted and vicious”. He concluded that Phull had shown “not one shred of regret” after attacking Ramani in a premeditated way, using severe force.
He added: “This was an anticipated knife attack on a man you had picked a fight with.
“He was immediately compromised and notwithstanding that you chased him.
“You did not give evidence. This court has heard not one word from you to justify or explain why you carried and used a lethal weapon.”
Following Phull’s conviction, Ramani’s family said in a statement:
“In reality, justice cannot be done in this case.
“No sentence will ever be enough and nothing can bring Ramani back or ease our pain.”
Birmingham Mail reported that the teenager was sentenced to detention for life, to serve a minimum term of 17 years.