24 years for stabbing man to death

A convicted murderer has today been sentenced to 24 years in jail for killing Charles Kelly outside his Oldbury home last summer.

Stephen Lal was found guilty of murder at Wolverhampton Crown Court yesterday (12th of April). His sister, Helen Lal, was also found guilty of perverting the course of justice.

51 year old Stephen from Wednesbury, was given a minimum term of 24 years, while Helen, aged 46 and from Smethwick, was given 3 years, minus the time already spent on remand.

Both were arrested last July, following the death of Mr Kelly. The 56-year-old had answered a knock at the door of his home, on Marshall Road, Oldbury on Friday 16 July. Lal then stabbed Mr Kelly 15 times, causing fatal injuries. The father of six was pronounced dead in hospital a short time later.

Following the conviction, DCI Sarbjit Johal said: "This was a ferocious attack on a 56-year-old man, as he answered the door of his home.

"We uncovered a grudge against the victim by Lal, which had lasted some 16 years. That grudge led to a moment of violence which left a family without their husband, father and grandfather.

"In total, Lal stabbed Mr Kelly 15 times causing massive injuries that swiftly led to his death.

"Lal visited Charles' house that night planning to cause him harm, armed with a knife, and as a result he will now face many years in jail. His sister, Helen Lal, will also be jailed for attempting to cover for him after committing such a terrible act.

"I hope that today's sentences offer some comfort to a family still grieving the loss of Charles."

Charles' wife, Marlene Kelly, said following the verdict:

Charles Kelly"To have been married to Charlie for 37 years on the 15th July 2010, then have him so cruelly taken away from me a day later, is so hard for me to come to terms with.

"We always said on our 40th anniversary we would renew our wedding vows, but now that will never happen. Charlie was my sole mate and my best friend.

"I try to keep strong for our six children and nine grandchildren, but it is so hard especially when I can't sleep at night because every time I close my eyes I see Charlie slipping away in front of my eyes, knowing I can't do anything to save him.

"I heard many negative things said about my husband during this trial, however, I would like to people to know that when we had Charlie's funeral over 500 people attended. I think that is testament to what type of person Charlie was. He was well liked and would always go out his way to help people.

"We all miss Charlie so much. This has had such a great impact on all our lives I don't think my family will ever be the same again.

"But we can take some comfort from knowing that the man responsible for all of this is now behind bars."

Son, Iain Kelly, added: "Having my Dad taken away so suddenly has had a massive impact on my family especially my mom. Every time I look at her I see pain in her face which I know will never go away. I am the youngest of the children and I don't have any children of my own but when I do, it hurts me to know that they will never know their Granddad and what a kind hearted and generous person he was, all I have is photos and memories to share."