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Wolverhampton murder trial told how 'scuffle' ended with petrol bomb and death

By John Scott | Wolverhampton | Crime | Published:

The final minutes in the life of alleged Wolverhampton murder victim Richard Helm have been described to a jury by his brother.

Richard Helm, inset, was found stabbed outside a house in Raven Crescent, Ashmore Park, along with a burned out Land Rover

Anthony Helm had driven his 37-year-old brother to the home of Matty Stinson, who had wrongly been identified as the person who had attacked their sister Kelsie and broken windows in her home and car shortly after midnight on October 12 last year.

Anthony said Stinson was on the driveway when the brothers arrived in Anthony's Range Rover Freelander at the address in Raven Crescent, Ashmore Park, at around 5.15am.

Danny Cooper and Ashley Wilson were inside.

From scuffle to petrol bomb

Anthony explained: “Rich got out of the car as Stinson came towards him and they ended up scuffling together.

"I ran over to split them up and pulled Richard away. I did not see a weapon in the hands of either of them. Stinson came towards me. I grabbed hold of him and started scuffling with him.”

Anthony maintained he saw shadows emerging from the porch side of the house and was then attacked as he grappled with Stinson on the ground. He felt a ‘whack’ on his back and was kicked in the face, the court heard.

Then he saw his brother on all fours being hit with a hammer by someone he could not identify who then began smashing the windows of the Range Rover with the weapon, it was said.

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Police forensic teams at the scene where Richard Helm died

He broke free from Stinson and rushed to tell Richard they had to get out of the brawl because they were unarmed and a person had a hammer.

Anthony recalled: “He didn’t reply, just mumbled.”

Then an unidentified person hurled a petrol bomb into the Freelander which Anthony managed to pick up and throw away before the car caught fire.

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He continued: “As I was walking back Rich walked towards the end of the driveway, looked at me and collapsed onto his back.”

An ambulance was called but his life could not be saved. Richard had been stabbed through the heart, the jury were told.

How missed call could have saved life

The court also heard how Richard missed a phone call that might have saved his life.

His father William rang Richard and Anthony at around 5am to tell them to get round to their sister's nearby house and see what had happened to her.

She had just called him to say she had been beaten up by a man, the court was told.

But minutes later William, who was on a narrowboat in Cheshire, changed his mind and called Richard again.

More from the trial:

The father explained while giving evidence: "I wanted to say 'leave it and go straight to work' because I could be down there in an hour.

"He had got four kids and needed the money. His partner answered the call and I learnt he had already gone and had left his phone at home."

It was said that William Helm, who had a poor phone signal, also tried unsuccessfully to contact Anthony again but could not get through.

Brothers rush to sister's aid

The brothers were both employed by the same firm as ground workers and regularly left home to get to the job at 5.45am.

They each lived with their families a short distance from their sister's house in Adey Road, Ashmore Park.

William Helm continued: "I called Kelsie and told her to get the message to the lads to go to work and earn some money.

"Soon afterwards I received the news of what had happened to Rich and went straight down to Ashmore Park."

The brothers arrived within a minute of each other at Kelsie's home to find she had moved out to stay with her mother in law after being attacked and having car and house windows broken overnight.

Kelsie's former partner Luke Fry was at the address and it was he who told the brothers their sister had been attacked by Matty Stinson, a man with whom Mr Fry had a feud.

The brothers drove to Stinson's home and five minutes later Richard lay dead or dying.

Cooper, 32 and from Maytree Close, Chelmsley Wood, has admitted attacking Kelsie and breaking the windows.

He and Wilson, 27, of Guernsey Drive, also Chelmsley Wood, had allegedly been asked to stay with Stinson for protection.

Each denies murder and the case continues.

John Scott

By John Scott
Reporter/News Feature Writer

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