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Three men convicted after man dies from brutal attack

Three men have been convicted of killing a man in broad daylight at a city centre phone shop.

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Darren Smith died from his injuries at the scene following the attack. Photo: West Midlands Police

Darren Smith had visited a phone shop on Heath Way in Shard End in Birmingham on March 15 to buy a phone case, when he was ambushed by the men who repeatedly kicked and punched him.

The 51-year-old, was also hit multiple times with a wrench and two Rolex watches were also stolen from his wrist, while staff at the shop were threatened before the three men fled in their cars.

Eyewitnesses said that Mr Smith walked unsteadily out of the shop, before collapsing nearby.

Several members of the public gave him first aid until emergency services arrive, but he died from his injuries at the scene.

Lee O’Brien and his two sons Luke and Lewis were arrested the following day, having fled to Torquay.

Lee O’Brien, Luke O’Brien and Lewis O’Brien all pleaded guilty to and were convicted of manslaughter. Photo: West Midlands Police

They had borrowed a car from a friend to travel down to Torquay in so that they could evade police, but they were arrested after West Midlands Police traced the car they were travelling in.

At Birmingham Crown Court on Tuesday, September 19, 51-year-old Lee O’Brien, 36-year-old Luke O’Brien and 31-year-old Lewis O’Brien all pleaded guilty to manslaughter and will now be sentenced on November 16.

Detective Inspector Michelle Thurgood from West Midlands Police Homicide Team, said: “We know that Lee, Luke and Lewis all knew Darren, but only they know why they targeted him that day.

“My thought’s remain with Mr Smith’s family at this distressing time and I hope that these pleas bring them some sense of justice being done.”

Mr Smith’s family previously released a tribute which read: "We as a family are devastated at the loss of our son Darren.

"He was a caring man and was loved by all who knew him. He was tragically taken from us and this has left a huge void in our lives.”