A ROWLEY Regis teenager took part in a gang robbery spree just days before killing a Netherton father-of-two while raiding his home for cannabis plants.

Brandon Phillips, aged 17, was put behind bars for 10 years in January after a jury found him guilty of the manslaughter of 41-year-old Simon Johnson.

Mr Johnson was brutally stabbed to death after Phillips, from Dudhill Road, and 19-year-old Damilola Johnson - no relation to the victim - broke into his Cradley Road property.

Damilola Johnson, of no fixed address, was convicted of murder at the end of their trial and he was given a life sentence and told he must spend a minimum of 21 years behind bars.

Wolverhampton Crown Court was told Phillips was part of the gang who left their victims frightened and badly shaken when they robbed them of their mobile telephones.

Simon Phillips, prosecuting, said Phillips had first struck a young man in the face at the bus station as intu Merry Hill before robbing another youth at a skateboard park in Old Wharf Road, Stourbridge.

The youth admitted both charges and was jailed for six months for the robbery and a further month for the assault, to run concurrently to his 10 year term.

Judge James Burbidge QC, who lifted legal restrictions on reporting Phillips' identity, said it was clear that at the time the teenager had been "out of control", having abandoned all interest in leading a law abiding life.

He said he had been part of a pack mentality and that had led to the grave crimes of manslaughter for which he had been given a long sentence, coupled with an extended licence on his release from custody.

The judge told the teenager he was already serving what was a "massive" custodial term and he said he hoped that when he was finally released he would be able to put his life back on track and lead an honest, non-violent life.

Six other young men were also found guilty by a jury of being involved in the robberies at the skateboard park.

Danyal Hussain, aged 18, of Harcourt Road in Old Hill was convicted of four mobile phone robberies, while 20-year-old Yunus Muflahi was cleared on four robbery charges but found guilty on another.

A 17-year-old from Cradley Heath was found guilty of four robberies together with a 16-year-old from Oldbury and two 15-year-olds from the Quinton and Cradley areas.

A 17-year-old from Smethwick was acquitted by the jury on all charges during the course of the trial.

The young men found guilty were all told a pre-sentence report was essential before sentence could be passed in the case.

They were all allowed bail with the exception of the 17-year-old from Cradley Heath.

Mr Phillips had told the court there could have been up to 15 youths involved at the skateboard park and their victims had been threatened before being robbed.