TWO teenagers brutally stabbed a Netherton father-of-two to death after raiding his home to steal cannabis plants, it has been alleged.

The pair acted together and were criminally responsible for killing 41-year-old Simon Johnson, according to Simon Denison QC, prosecuting.

He said Mr Johnson, who had worked as a fitter for Black Country Glazing in Cradley Heath, was growing the controlled drug in one of the rooms at his semi-detached home in Cradley Road.

Mr Denison said he was viciously attacked and murdered when he woke to find 19-year-old Damilola Johnson and the 16-year-old inside his property.

He was a "naturally trusting man - too trusting as it turned out," Mr Denison said, adding that it ultimately led to his death.

He said Mr Johnson had revealed to a group of teenagers - who were friends of the defendants - that he was growing cannabis and they all went to his home.

The plants were shown to the group and one of them stole Mr Johnson's mobile phone but later the three teenagers went back to the house, where they were drinking and smoking cannabis.

Mr Johnson went to bed before they left and while he was asleep they went to the cannabis farm and each stole a plant, which were later stripped of their leaves in a nearby park.

But one of the three decided he wanted more, added Mr Denison and he returned to the house with the 16-year-old and another youth and they broke in and stole more cannabis plants.

That was still not enough and they broke into the house once again to take more plants, which were also stripped of their leaves and put into bin bags.

But there was yet another break-in at the house, explained Mr Denison, with the 16-year-old going along together with Damilola Johnson, who was making his first visit to the property.

Damilola Johnson had seen the cannabis taken by the others and he decided he wanted some for himself with the two gaining access to the house through a window They used knives to strip down cannabis plants but they also stole bank cards belonging to Mr Johnson because they were "too greedy," said Mr Denison.

When Mr Johnson woke up, he was punched so hard his eye socket was fractured and he was then savagely stabbed four times - three times in the back - with one wound almost severing his aorta.

He collapsed on the landing and died from his injuries, with the two teenagers leaving with a large bag of cannabis leaves.

A knife stained with Mr Johnson's blood was found nearby, together with bloodstained clothing.

Scientific and fingerprint evidence linked the teenagers to the murder, claimed Mr Denison.

He told Wolverhampton Crown Court that all the other teenagers had admitted charges involving burglary and theft to reflect their roles in what took place at the house.

The 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had admitted a burglary charge and being present when Mr Johnson was murdered.

But he has told police the alleged killer was Damilola Johnson and maintained he played no part in the killing.

Damilola Johnson has denied being present at the house and said he was "somewhere else" at the time.

He told police he had returned to an address in the area and he found the others with the cannabis and wanted some for himself.

He then helped cut up a small amount of the controlled drug, which he kept, before going to bed.

But Mr Denison has alleged it was the two teenagers who were responsible for the brutal murder having broken into the house together.

He said they knew there was a chance he could wake up at any moment and they both had knives, adding: "There is evidence these two people were acting together and they were both criminally responsible for the murder."

The 16-year-old and Damilola Johnson, of no fixed address, have both pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Johnson and their trial - expected to last for more than two weeks - is continuing.