Police in hunt for 12 over teenager Ben's murder
By Walsall Advertiser | Thursday, October 18, 2012, 09:20
THESE are the 12 people detectives investigating the murder of Walsall teenager Ben Morature want to trace as the hunt for the 16-year-old's killer gathered pace this week.
The dozen CCTV images have been released by West Midlands Police today (Thursday) in a bid to help bring those responsible for Ben's death to justice.
It comes after two 17-year-olds were charged with violent disorder in connection with the incident this week. A 17-year-man has already been charged with the murder of former Alumwell School pupil Ben who was stabbed in the leg following a disturbance outside a club in Smethwick where he had earlier attended an 18th birthday party.
The Smethwick Home Guard and Old Comrades Club has been demolished since Ben's murder in the early hours of Saturday, July 28, but detectives, who stress the investigation is still very much ongoing, are hoping those captured by on-site CCTV – some of whom they believe to be "vital witnesses" – can help with their inquiry.
Detective Chief Inspector Bob Hazel, who is leading the murder investigation, said: "We know there were lots of people around when Ben was stabbed and there are still many who haven't come forward or who we haven't been able to identify.
"We believe some of those in the CCTV stills could be vital witnesses who have crucial information which would assist our investigation."
Ben, who was studying at Alumwell Business and Enterprise College, was described by his family as a "protective son and brother".
Police are now appealing to anyone who can help identify those pictured – and piece together what happened leading up to the murder of the "beloved son, brother and nephew" – to come forward.
Det Ch Insp Hazel said: "I would urge anyone who recognises themselves in these images or anyone who knows the identities of those pictured to get in touch with us as soon as possible."
Two men, both aged 17 and from the Ladywood area of Birmingham, were arrested at their homes last Thursday (October 11) and charged with violent disorder the following day. One of them also faces a charge of perverting the course of justice. Both have been released on bail with conditions.
Anyone who can identify those pictured or has information which could help the investigation is urged to call Force CID on 101 and quote the code which appears underneath the image.