The “split-second decision” to carry a knife is what led to the death of teenager Ramani Morgan.
The 16-year-old was expecting to enjoy a night at a house party in Coventry, but instead became embroiled in violence that led to his untimely death.
His killer, Sukhbir Singh Phull, was armed with a knife on the night of February 29 and used it to inflict the fatal wounds that would take Ramani’s life.
Phull, 18, was today (September 25) convicted of murder at Warwick Crown Court and faces a number of years in prison when he is sentenced.
A 17-year-old was found not guilty of Ramani’s murder at the same trial.
Speaking after the jury returned its verdicts, the detective who led the investigation in to Ramani’s killing said his death highlights how different a situation can turn out if a knife is being carried.
Detective Inspector Laura Harrison, from West Midlands Police, told CoventryLive: “What happened is certainly a consequence of carrying a knife and sends a really clear message to people that this tragic outcome came from a spilt-second decision to carry a knife that evening when a fight broke out.
“Previously it may have been a fist fight between two young lads, but the consequences here resulted in fatal injuries to Ramani.”
Among the young people who were at the tragic house party in Chandos Street on the night of February 29 was Ramani’s girlfriend.
The court heard that she saw Phull pull a knife from his trousers during the fight and she then told Ramani to run.
Prosecutor Michael Burrows QC said that after being told Ramani had been stabbed, his girlfriend went to him and saw he was “bleeding to death”.
Speaking of what the teenage girl has been through, Det Insp Harrison said: “Ramani’s girlfriend was one of the significant witnesses, as were a number of younger people.
“It was very traumatic for her and all of the younger witnesses. They had to give evidence in crown court which isn’t an easy task, but they have all supported the investigation and given evidence and they can be proud of their conduct.”
When arrested and interviewed, Phull, of Binley Road, Coventry, gave no information to detectives at all, giving a ‘no comment’ interview.
This left the investigating team with the task of piecing together precisely what happened during and after the house party with the help of witness statements and CCTV footage.
“It’s their right not to answer [in inteview] if they don’t want to do so and it’s for the Crown Prosecution Service to prove their is sufficient evidence for a court trial and then the jury and court to make an assessment of that evidence,” said Det Insp Harrison.
“But it doesn’t help the police investigation in not giving an explanation or anything for us to investigate, so we rely on CCTV, witnesses and other evidence in the investigation.
“My team has worked really hard on this investigation and CCTV has played a big part in that.
“It’s a visible representation of what happened so the jury can see it and understand it. It brings the witnesses’ evidence to life.”
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Det Insp Harrison also paid tribute to Ramani’s family following the harrowing trial at Warwick Crown Court.
She said: “Ramani’s family have found the court case difficult to sit through, having to hear the detail of how he died and the circumstances.
“They have found elements of it frustrating, but have conducted themselves in a dignified manner.”