The mother of murdered teenager Joshua Ribera, aka Depzman, has appealed to remaining witnesses to events which led to his death to come forward. The appeal comes as detectives from West Midlands Police investigating the murder release CCTV images of nine potential witnesses that they want to speak to.

Joshua died after being stabbed in the chest outside TC’s nightclub in Selly Oak on 20th September. Along with friends, he had been attending a fundraising memorial event for Bartley Green teen Kyle Sheehan, aka Shamz, who was fatally stabbed 12 months earlier.

Armani Mitchell, 18, from The Green, Northfield has been charged with Joshua’s murder after handing himself in several days after the incident, and an 18-year-old man from Edgbaston remains on police bail after being arrested in connection with Joshua’s death. However, West Midlands Police stress that the investigation is ongoing and are appealing for help to identify the potential witnesses in the CCTV images.

Detective Inspector Gary Plant from Force CID, said: “We know there were lots of people at TCs when Joshua was stabbed and there are still many who haven’t come forward or who we haven’t been able to identify.

“Some of those in the CCTV stills could be vital witnesses who have crucial information which would assist our investigation. 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.”

Mother’s appeal

Joshua’s mother, Alison Cope, appealed directly to those in the images to come forward. She said: “I would like to personally ask all the people shown in the images today to spend a moment imagining someone had killed you, broke your mother’s heart and the hearts of your family and friends.

“Would you want people to come forward for you and for your mother? Yes you would. Don’t be seen as the person who didn’t help put the pieces together in this investigation. You might feel the information you have isn’t important, but it is and I need you to help me. So please, contact the police.”

Anyone who can assist the police investigation should call 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

For the facts on knife crime in the West Midlands visit: www.west-midlands.police.uk/crime-reduction/violence/knife-crime/index.asp

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