Simon Johnson: Teen found GUILTY of murdering father he stabbed to death
A teenager who stabbed a man to death during a bungled burglary was facing a life sentence for the murder today.
Damilola Johnson plunged a knife four times into the body of Simon Johnson after the 41-year-old was woken while the 19-year-old and a 15-year-old youth stole plants from a cannabis farm being grown at the victim's home.
Damilola Johnson - no relation to the deceased - was unanimously convicted of murder and burglary by the Wolverhampton Crown Court jury who acquitted the younger defendant, now 17, of murder but found him guilty of manslaughter. He had admitted burglary.
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Only the two burglars know exactly what happened, but the youth told Wolverhampton Crown Court that Damilola Johnson delivered the fatal blows after accidentally bumping into a bed and waking the father of two.
Mr Johnson - who lived alone following the break up of his marriage - suffered a fractured eye socket in the attack that followed as he tried to grab the intruder while the younger thief ran from the address in Cradley Road, Netherton, where he had stolen credit cards during the early hours of August 11 last year.
The fingerprints of both defendants were found on a bin bag full of cannabis discovered alongside Mr Johnson when the body was found lying on the upstairs landing by a workmate less than four hours later. CCTV film captured their escape after the killing.
A glove with traces of the DNA of Damilola Johnson and the blood of the victim was found discarded in a nearby street while a knife taken from the kitchen of the house - and thought to be the murder weapon - was discovered in the front garden of the burgled house with the murdered man's blood on it.
Two more knives were later found behind a garden wall in nearby Durham Road where they had been hidden by the 17-year-old defendant as he left the scene.
Mr Simon Denison QC, prosecuting, said: "The two broke into the house together, knowing Mr Johnson could wake up, took knives from his home and left together."
Damilola Johnson, of no fixed address, and the 17-year-old were remanded in custody until January 12 when they will be sentenced by Judge James Burbidge QC who warned: "These are extremely serious offences and there will be significant sentences."
Mr Johnson's widow Ros said after the case: "The last 16 months without Si cannot be described in a few words but the world is now an emptier, lonelier and scarier place for me and our two daughters."
Detective Inspector Warren Hines from the force’s homicide team, said: "Simon Johnson was a naturally trusting man, too trusting as it turned out - he let people into his home and they took advantage of this trust.
"He 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.
"I sincerely hope that these verdicts will allow Simon’s family and friends to slowly begin to move on after their sad loss."
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