Killer who crept up behind rival boxing fan and fatally stabbed him is given 14 years behind bars for manslaughter
The footage from the day shows 22-year-old Tyrone Andrew creeping up behind 19-year-old Reagan Asbury 'like an animal stalking its prey' before he stabbed the teen in the neck.
A disturbing CCTV footage has been released that shows the moment a boxing fan stabbed a rival supporter to death in the middle of a riot that started after a world title fight. The footage shows 22-year-old Tyrone Andrew creeping up behind 19-year-old Reagan Asbury "like an animal stalking its prey" before he stabbed the teen in the neck once. The riot started during a boxing match that was taking place in Walsall, West Mids, on October 14, 2017, and it ended up reaching the streets outside the event arena. The footage was taken from a cell phone that captured the whole thing from the brawl that took place inside Walsall Town Hall where tables and chairs could be seen being thrown as fans ran for cover to when the fight moved outside where the stabbing took place.
The Daily Mail reported that Andrew was jailed on August 2 for 14 years for the manslaughter of the teen which the presiding judge described as "deliberate and focused". The rising star footballer was able to stumble back into the venue where paramedics tried to stop the excessive bleeding but he eventually stopped breathing. Asbury was declared dead later on at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham after a blood transfusion failed to save him.
The footage of the attack, which took place on October 9, 2017, was released by the West Midlands Police. Andrew can be seen in the video being tackled to the ground rugby style before getting back up and picking up a knife that had fallen to the ground. He can then be seen running up to Asbury and knifing him in the throat. Andrew then runs away before he gives the blade to Ryandeep Sidhu who put the murder weapon in the driver's side of his BMW.
More CCTV footage then shows Andrew returning to his house in Derby after he was driven there by Declan Kemp-Francis. He got rid of the blood-stained short before getting into a taxi that took him to the Birmingham Airport for an 11:15 a.m. flight to Amsterdam that he got onto the next day. Detectives worked with European police to trace him and he was finally arrested in Barcelona. Andrew was swiftly put onto a flight after he was found and was sent back to the UK in January 2018.
The trial lasted for four weeks and after deliberating for more than 37 hours, the jury cleared him of the murder charge on August 2 but found him guilty of manslaughter. Chaos erupted in the Birmingham Crown Court when the verdict was delivered and Asbury's family cried out in shock before storming out of the courtroom. The sentencing was carried out by Judge Simon Drew QC who said: "During the melee, you were kicked, punched and in the midst, someone dropped the knife on the ground."
"You saw it and chose to pick it up and then decided to continue to fighting. At some point you saw Reagan Asbury, between you and your friends, perhaps with others, perhaps seemingly forming some sort of obstruction between you and them. However he was facing away from you, his back was to you, and he was obviously unarmed. You then broke from your walk into a run and you ran up behind him and stabbed him to the neck. The blow was deliberate and focused."
Helen Kirwan, Asbury's mother, told the court during the sentencing hearing: "I want you to know who Reagan was...he was not a violent or racist person." In a touching statement that was read out in the court by the prosecutor, Michael Burrows QC, Kirwan explained how her athletic son was "a free spirit" who "loved life, his family, and friends".
Kirwan said: "He loved his family and friends. He always had a passion for sport, whatever it was. He was a brilliant and bright boy at school." The statement added: "When I learned he was going to the town hall my concerns were eased because I had learned he had got a pair of more expensive tickets. It was one of the first times I didn't worry about Reagan being out at night. The pain rips and tears at us every day. Our lives will never be the same."
After the case came to a close, Asbury's family implored all youngsters to stop carrying knives. His devastated sister, Elysia, said in a statement that was released by the authorities: "It wrecks lives, it wrecks communities. It's not OK to be carrying knives and I think we need to tackle that problem." She added: "Reagan was a remarkable human being, he was wise beyond his years. I always used to ask my brother for advice even though I was his older sister. He would tell me something and I would be blown away by his maturity and his perspective on life. My family and I still cannot believe he is not here."
"Our world has been turned upside down. Our family home no longer feels like home. Reagan was a respectful lad, our family and friends speak highly of him, his manners and how polite he was to anyone he came into contact with. Reagan liked everyone, he did not have a bad word to say about anyone, he enjoyed being happy, he was a positive person who loved life. It broke our hearts when the issue of racism was brought up during the trial. Reagan would be upset if he heard someone being racist. It goes against everything Reagan and our family stands for. Our family chain is broken, we all have a void in our life that will always be empty, we miss him so much. Reagan had a positive impact on every single person he came into contact with, and will continue to do so. His legacy will live on."
The court was told about how the riot started during the IBF Youth World Lightweight title match between Luke Paddock from Walsall and Myron Mills from Derby. Sunita Kooner, the venue manager, described the events of the day and said that supporters who were there for Mills started "banging on tables and lunging forward...as if they wanted to kick off". After Mills won that night, tables and chairs were being hurled across the Walsall Town Hall. The violence continued outside as troublemakers were being prevented from staying indoors. Rival fans started brawling and that's when Andrew stabbed Asbury.
Burrows said earlier in the trial: "This case is about violence which took place after a boxing match at the Town Hall in Walsall on the night of October 14. The prosecution say Andrew was armed with a knife and, during the course of violence that followed, he stabbed at four different people. He missed one, caused injury to two others and killed a fourth, Reagan Asbury. He stabbed him from behind in the neck."
Andrew told the court that he had acted out in self-defense while he had been trying to get away from a "racist mob" who had been allegedly trying to "drive him out of town". 23-year-old Kemp-Francis was acquitted of the violent disorder charged but was found guilty of assisting an offender. 22-year-old Lavelle Patrice from Littlewood, Derby, was also acquitted of violent disorder and 22-year-old Sidhu from Mickleover, Derby, was found guilty of assisting an offender. Kemp-Francis and Sidhu have both been jailed for 30 months.
Lead investigator, Detective Inspector Justin Spanner, said: "Our thoughts today remain with Reagan's family who we have supported throughout the investigation. This tragic case shows all too clearly the terrible consequences of carrying a knife. What should have been an enjoyable night out in Walsall descended into mindless disorder and, ultimately, deadly violence. One young life has been lost, and another man is facing many years behind bars. I'd urge parents and others involved in bringing up children and young people to have honest discussions with them about the very real consequences of carrying a knife. This case also shows clearly how we will pursue criminals at home and abroad to get justice."