"Our whole world fell apart": Ramani Morgan's family speaks of grief after guilty verdict - The Coventry Observer

10th Aug, 2022

"Our whole world fell apart": Ramani Morgan's family speaks of grief after guilty verdict

THE family of Ramani Morgan have spoken of their devastation after a teenager was yesterday (Friday, September 25) found guilty of the young footballer’s murder in Coventry.

Talented former Aston Villa young player Ramani from Erdington, Birmingham was just 16-years-old when he was fatally stabbed in Chandos Street, Coventry on February 29.

The teenager collapsed on Clay Lane in the Stoke area at around 10.30pm due to several stab wounds. Tragically he died later that evening in hospital.

Ramani Morgan

Jurors at Warwick Crown Court found Sukhbir Phull, aged 18, guilty of his murder. He will be sentenced at a later date.

A 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was also on trial for the murder but found not guilty by the jury.

Speaking after the guilty verdict, Ramani’s family paid tribute to their son: “Throughout his life Ramani was such a lively and popular boy. He was very humble, always smiling, happy and joking around, he attended Plantsbrook School in Sutton Coldfield and did very well.

“From a very early age Ramani played schoolboy football for Wolverhampton Wanderers and Walsall football clubs before being signed into the academy at Aston Villa at the age of 12.

Ramani Morgan as a child

“This completely took over his life. The club collected him from school and took him straight to training every night. He didn’t have time to socialise or mix with other school friends at all. He was totally focused on his football.

“At 16 Aston Villa released Ramani. He was disappointed but was still having trials at other football clubs in the hope of securing a professional contract. As a fall back option he enrolled at Birmingham Metropolitan College to study to be an electrician. For the first time Ramani started to go out, enjoy himself and socialise more as he was doing on that night.

“All of this was tragically cut short on 29 February. Police attended our address just before midnight to tell us the dreadful news that Ramani had been stabbed. By the time we got to the hospital in Coventry he had died. Our whole world fell apart.

“In reality justice cannot be done in this case. No sentence will ever be enough and nothing can bring Ramani back or ease our pain. We do not want something like this to happen to another family.”

Ramani, who had the potential to become a professional footballer, had travelled to the house party to meet his girlfriend – less than 3o minutes later he was fatally injured.

Witnesses told police that Phull have been flirting with Ramani’s girlfriend when tensions arose. It is believed that the girl hosting the party became concerned things were getting out of hand.

She told Phull everyone needed to go and moments later he was seen whispering in Ramani’s ear telling him he needed to leave. A fight broke out just outside the house. Ramani was stabbed in the chest and although he managed to run off he collapsed in nearby Clay Lane.

Witnesses recalled seeing Phull and the 17-year-old boy, who was also on trial, fighting with Ramani, but they both denied stabbing him. The pair were both arrested the next day on March 1 and detectives recovered a knife with a broken handle from the sink of the 17-year-old’s house and a hat matching a description given from witnesses.

Police also recovered a coat which Phull was seen wearing on CCTV, the coat had traces of Ramani’s blood on it. The two teenagers were subsequently charged with Ramani’s murder.

Detective Inspector Laura Harrison, from West Midlands Police’s homicide team, said: “Ramani’s death was simply tragic and my thoughts and condolences remain with his family and friends who have been extremely brave throughout our investigation and the trial.

“The loss of his young life is devastating for everyone who knew him and also the wider community who were shocked and saddened by his death.

“It again reinforces the message we are trying to share with young people, carrying weapons has grim consequences.

“What would have been a fist fight has resulted in Ramani’s death and a young man now faces a lengthy prison sentence.”

Coventry commander, chief superintendent Mike O’Hara, said: “Ramani’s death was heart-breaking. He was a young boy with great potential and the shock, pain and sadness is still felt by many of us in Coventry.

“Sadly too many young lives are lost as a result of knife crime.

“Carrying a knife has very real consequences – Ramani’s untimely death, the huge impact on his friends and family, the horror and fear of the young witnesses at the party and now, a youngster has been convicted of his murder.

“We’re doing all we can to warn of the dangers of knife crime, we work with a wide range of partners, schools and colleges to try and educate young people that it’s never acceptable to carry a weapon.

“We’ll never give up sharing this message and robustly dealing with those who carry knives or are involved in violence.”

Anyone with information about knife crime should contact the police via Live Chat on our website or by calling 101.

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