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11 April 2016, 14:24
A Birmingham man's been jailed for a minimum of 32 years for stabbing a man to death in a Coventry nightclub.
18-year-old Daniel Kirkwood was stabbed in the neck after a night out in March last year.
25-year-old Tobijah Thompson's been jailed for life.
Daniel was found collapsed outside the Tower Street club at 2am with a stab wound to the neck and later pronounced dead in hospital.
Another 18-year-old man suffered a stab wound to the back, while a 17-year-old lad was also slashed across the arm with a knife.
They've both now recovered form their injuries.
Three other men, Hasham Ali, of Amberley Green in Birmingham, Ezra Scott, of Hawksyard Road in Erdington, and Ramez Murtaza of Bordesley Green East in Bordesley Green, pleaded guilty to being involved in the violent disorder that resulted in Daniel’s death. Murtaza also admitted assaulting Daniel’s friend and pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Ali was sentenced to 29 months and Scott was handed 28 months for violent disorder.
Murtaza was sentenced to 8 years for manslaughter, he was also sentenced to three years and four months for violent disorder and two years and 10 months for an assault.
During the trial the jury were told how Daniel and his friends got into an argument with Ali, aged 19, which escalated into disorder when Thompson pulled out a knife in front of horrified clubbers.
He stabbed Daniel in the neck before attacking two of his friends - stabbing one in the arm and another in the back.
Murtaza, aged 21, then used a broken bottle to threaten the group and grappled with another of Daniel’s friends leaving him injured.
The injured teenagers managed to get out of the club but as they reached the road outside Daniel collapsed.
The teenager lay critically injured as Thompson, Ali, Murtaza and Scott, aged 22, left the area in a silver BMW shouting abuse at the group as they left.
The other three teens received medical treatment for their injuries.
Thompson was also convicted of violent disorder, possession of a knife, assault and two separate counts of woundings.
A fifth man, Zaker Khan of Belchers Lane in Small Heath, was found not guilty of violent disorder and assault.
Detective Chief Inspector Sam Ridding, who led the murder investigation, said: "The motive for the attack is believed to have been a disagreement that Ali had with one of Daniel’s friends in the club.
"The violence very quickly escalated with Thompson stabbing Daniel and his friends with a knife he’d brought with him as he and the other offenders breezed past security who let them in without searching them.
"This was a devastating attack against the group and we are satisfied with the results at court today."
Speaking about her son, Daniel’s mum Pauline Darcy, said: "Dan was the brightest star in our family, he was always laughing, joking and had the biggest smile that everyone noticed.
"Daniel’s adult life was just starting, he had plans but these were cruelly taken away from him, we will never see his pride in getting married and starting a family.
"Dan’s dad Michael and I are two broken people, changed beyond recognition, the days are dark, the house is empty, the hopes and dreams for our son’s future are gone.
"His brother and sisters are devastated and his nieces and nephew miss their uncle Dan. He changed people’s lives in his 18 years and we are so proud of him.
"Our thanks go to West Midlands Police and all the staff who have worked on the case with such dedication and professionalism and to Michael Burrows QC for his eloquent presentation of the case."
Detective Chief Inspector Ridding added: "Daniel was a young man with the world at his feet. His premature death was needless and the loss has torn apart the lives of his family and friends.
"They will never recover from their ordeal but I hope that in some way seeing Daniel’s killer behind bars will help them.
"I hope that today’s sentencing reinforces he message that there is no place for people who wish to carry knives in our communities and anyone found to be doing so will be brought to justice."