"Out-of-control" baby-faced killer jailed after homeowner is stabbed to death during late night break-in

A baby-faced teenage thug has been jailed after a man was stabbed to death in his own home during a late night burglary.

Brandon Phillips, 17, continued to commit crimes even after being involved in the fatal killing of Simon Johnson, 41.

The teen, who can now be named after reporting restrictions were lifted, and pal Damilola Johnson had broken into the victim's property in Dudley, West Midlands, on August 16, 2016.

It was the third time Phillips had burgled the home.

Mr Johnson was brutally stabbed four times by Johnson - no relation - after being woken up and confronting the raiders in the early hours.

The window fitter was left to die on his landing in a pool of blood before a work colleague found his body when he called to collect him for a job a few hours later.

Phillips was jailed for 10 years in January after a jury found him guilty of manslaughter, while 19-year-old Johnson was jailed for life for murder to serve a minimum of 24 years.

This report comes after Henry Vincent died last month following a botched break-in at a pensioner's home in Hither Green, south east London.

Henry Vincent died after trying to burgle pensioner Richard Osborn-Brooks in his home, and his funeral took place earlier this month.

A court heard how 'out-of-control' Phillips had taken part in a gang robbery spree just three days before being involved in the killing of Mr Johnson.

He attacked a teenager at Merry Hill shopping centre in Brierley Hil, West Midlands, before stealing a mobile phone from a youth at a skateboard park two hours later.

Phillips, who had been convicted of robbery and attempted robbery in January 2016, also returned to crime just eight days after Mr Johnson's death.

He was with a gang who robbed another young man of his mobile phone as the victim walked through Haden Hill Park in Cradley Heath, West Midlands.

Phillips was jailed for six months for the robbery and a further month for the assault, to run concurrently to his 10 year term after admitting both charges this week.

Judge James Burbidge QC lifted reporting restrictions previously banning the name of of Phillips being made public due to his age.

He told Wolverhampton Crown Court: "I am satisfied that it is in the interest of justice that the restriction be lifted.

"Brandon Phillips was engaged in a spree of significant crime with one crime leading to another.

"After the death of Mr Johnson he committed further crime eight days later when he went with others to a park where a youth was held and robbed at knifepoint.

"Phillips, for someone so young, had a formidable criminal record."

Sentencing Philiips, the judge said: "You were out of control in 2016, having abandoned your interest in law-abiding pursuits to the pack mentality and that led to the grave crime of manslaughter for which you received a 10-year sentence with an extended licence.

"If you had admitted these offences earlier you may have received a custodial sentence, which could have broken your link with the pack but there is no point, or justice, in extending the sentence you are already serving.

"You are not being allowed to go Scot free because you are already serving a massive sentence.

"I hope that when it is completed you are able to pursue an honest, decent non violent life."

Tony Nayager, defending, said Phillips was a member of what was effectively a 'feral pack' and was 'deeply ashamed' of what happened.

At the time of Mr Johnson's death, a court heard how the pair had broken into the address when they woke the victim, who lived alone following the break up of his marriage.

CCTV saw the youth leaning over a garden wall of a house nearby shortly after the attack and two knives were discovered in the front garden of the victim's house.

Both suspects were arrested by police and the blood of the victim was found on both of the clothes worn by the offenders.

Detective Inspector Warren Hines, of West Midlands Police, said: "Simon Johnson was brutally attacked in his own home - a place he had every right to feel safe in - by greedy, violent criminals and not one shred of remorse has been shown by either of the convicted youths."

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