Birmingham & Black Country

Man jailed for Solihull street stabbing murder

James Atherley Image copyright Crimestoppers
Image caption James Atherley has been jailed for a minimum term of 26 years

A 22-year-old man who stabbed a man in the neck and left him "to die in the street" has been jailed.

Callum Lees, 20, was found by a passer-by in Kingshurst, Solihull, on 6 August and later died in hospital.

James Atherley, of Wells Road, Solihull, was found guilty of his murder by a unanimous verdict following a trial at Birmingham Crown Court.

He was sentenced to life in prison, and ordered to serve a minimum term of 26 years.

Mr Lees was stabbed following a row at a party at an address in Hopwas Grove and died in hospital from his injuries later the same day.

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Callum Lees was found collapsed in a street by a passer-by

Following the attack, police said Atherley went on the run to Newcastle.

He booked a hotel room under an alias but after a couple of days he was openly telling people his name and where he was from.

While on a night out, Atherley got into an argument at a nightclub and told onlookers he was "wanted for murder".

A week later, a witness to the argument saw a wanted appeal for Atherley on West Midlands Police's Facebook page and called the force. He was subsequently arrested.

Speaking after sentencing, Det Insp Jim Colclough said: "Our thoughts today remain with Callum's family - he was a young man who had his whole life ahead of him that was cruelly taken for no reason."

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