Brierley Hill murders: Pensnett Road still closed as police get extra time to quiz robbery suspect

Detectives are continuing to question a man suspected of being involved in a raid on a cannabis farm shortly before two men were stabbed to death.

A police tent on Wilson Road, just off Pensnett Road, where two men were stabbed to death
A police tent on Wilson Road, just off Pensnett Road, where two men were stabbed to death

The men died after being knifed in Brierley Hill during a fight which broke out after an attempted robbery at a cannabis farm in the early hours yesterday.

Police officers are still examining the crime scene in Pensnett Road, which remains closed between Wallows Road and Hickman Road, while several other properties have also been searched.

Flowers have been left nearby, with a note that reads: "Wozza. RIP bro. Love Kylie, Paul Armarni, Shy & Ty."

Flowers near the murder scene on Friday

Meanwhile detectives have been granted extra time to question the man who was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to rob yesterday. He is the only suspect to have been arrested so far.

One of the murder victims died at the scene while the second was pronounced dead at Russells Hall Hospital after being driven there following the stabbing.

Both men were stabbed near Brockmoor Community Centre after a group of men attempted to rob a house containing a cannabis farm on Pensnett Road at around 3.30am.

Interactive map of the crime scene:

The front windows of the house were smashed during the incident and witnesses reported men running away carrying plants as a fight spilled onto grassland which separates Pensnett Road and Wilson Road.

A car also crashed into parked vehicles and ended up in a fence on Wilson Road, while tyre marks were left on the nearby grass.

There has been a continual major police presence at the scene since yesterday morning, with forensic teams and a collision investigation unit there alongside detectives and uniformed officers.

Police in Drummond Street, Lye, as part of the murder investigation

Officers were this morning carrying out a fingertip search, looking in bins and conducting door-to-door enquiries.

Police were also at a house in Drummond Street, Lye, around three miles away from the crime scene, for several hours as part of the investigation on Wednesday.

Cannabis farms

Some neighbours in Brierley Hill today said that cannabis farms had become common in the area.

One 86-year-old woman, who lives locally and wished not to be named, said: "To be honest, we've just get used to it now," she said.

"That's my personal opinion. I'm 86 now and I've just seen this area go down so much.

A forensic officer recovers a blade on Pensnett Road. Photo: SnapperSK

"A few years ago, I reported my next-door neighbour to the police because I was concerned about what was going on at the house.

"Cars were turning up at night with no lights on. It turned out to be a cannabis factory.

"Another cannabis factory was also found round here a few years ago too, above one of the shops.

"It has just become so common and I don't think the police can cope with it because they are so undermanned.

"Last night I let the dog out about 10.30pm and I actually saw a uniformed police officer walk passed. I can't remember the last time that happened."

The police cordon on Pensnett Road, next to the house which was raided before the stabbings

Another woman, who lives nearby in Brockmoor High Street, said she had been left in shock by the murders.

"I didn't hear any police or anything like that at the time but it is worrying because my children all went to school round here and my grandson does now too.

"I've lived in Brierley Hill for 65 years and I can't believe what's happened.

"Someone I know was living in a terrace, in a shared house, and when they put their hand on the wall it was red hot.

"Turned out they had been growing cannabis but they had not realised – I didn't even know what the smell was until someone pointed it out to me recently."

A blue sheet covering a car which appeared to have crashed on Wilson Road
A forensic tent and blue sheet on Wilson Road, next to the grassland where tyre tracks were examined

John Wardley, 83, who works at Black Country Tackle and Bait in Brockmoor High Sreet, added: "It's disgraceful. I found out last night and it all come as a bit of a shock.

"I've been working here for 30 years and I've never heard of anything like this before.

"It does concern me because you never know what's going to happen.

"I always keep the back door locked these days to make sure no one can up behind me when I'm working."

Homicide Unit Inspector Nick Barnes, from West Midlands Police, said yesterday: “We’re appealing for anyone who was in the area at the time and witnessed the disorder or people or vehicles leaving the scene to get in touch.

“I’d also like to hear from any motorists who were in the area at the time and have dash cam footage as they also may have recorded something important."

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