Radio Sandwell Local News

Rapper Joshua Ribera's killer Armani Mitchell jailed

2014-03-30 16:47:08

Joshua Ribera
Joshua Ribera was stabbed near TC's nightclub in Selly Oak

A teenager who murdered a Birmingham rapper in a street stabbing has been jailed for a minimum of 18 years.

Armani Deniro Mitchell, 18, of The Green, Northfield, had denied killing Joshua Ribera, who was stabbed through the heart in September near TC's nightclub in Selly Oak.

However, the jury at Birmingham Crown Court unanimously found Mitchell guilty of the killing.

Shouting broke out in the court as the verdict was announced.

The judge, William Davis QC, ordered the arrest of several men in the court as as result of the disturbance.

Whispered name

Mr Ribera, also 18, was killed during a party at the nightclub that was organised to commemorate Mr Ribera's friend - 16-year-old Kyle Sheehan, who himself had died in a stabbing the previous year.

Prosecutor James Curtis QC told the court Mitchell had been enraged to see his ex-girlfriend with Mr Ribera and had threatened him, saying "Do you want me to wet you up?"

Joshua Ribera
Joshua Ribera's mother, Alison Cope, said she hoped her son's memory would help inspire people in the same way his music had

As Mr Ribera lay dying, the court heard he had whispered "Switch", the nickname of his attacker, to paramedics who were treating him.

He was a talented rap artist and had enjoyed a number one hit on the iTunes website.

In 2013, Birmingham's Crime Commissioner, Bob Jones, announced he was organising a knife surrender in the city which would be dedicated to Mr Ribera.

Joshua Ribera
The court heard Mitchell had threatened Mr Ribera following a commemoration event in TC's nightclub

Mr Jones said he wanted to positively use the "grief and energy" of the victim's fans to encourage others to abandon knives.

Anonymous "drop-off points" for knives were set up around the city in January.

Speaking at the time Mr Ribera's mother, Alison Cope, said she hoped her son's name "can continue to help and guide people, in the same way his music has".


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