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Family of murder victim James Brindley to leave 'daily torture' and move out of Aldridge

The heartbroken parents of a man murdered in Aldridge are moving out of the area to escape the "unavoidable daily torture" of reminders of their son’s death.

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Beverley and Mark Brindley with the portrait of their son James near where he was murdered

James Brindley was aged 26 when he was killed after being stabbed through the heart as he walked home in June 2017, shattering the lives of his family and friends.

His parents Mark and Beverley Brindley said the attack – which happened less than 150 yards from their home – had a devastating impact on their mental health and finances.

They appeared at a Walsall Council’s planning committee meeting applying to remove a tree which they say is putting off prospective buyers of the property.

They want a protection order taken off the pine – estimated to be 60 to 70 metres (197 to 230 ft tall) – which “rocks” in the wind and is said to be causing damage to the rest of the garden.

Tree officer Andrew Cook said there was no evidence of the tree being in an unstable condition or that it posed a risk to people or property and recommended refusing the request.

But committee members said the tree offered “no amenity value” to the area and was now a burden which was preventing the family selling their house.

James Brindley was aged 26 when he was killed

James, an aspiring businessman, had been on a night out with friends on June 23, 2017, and was walking home when he was confronted by his killer, 17-year-old Ammar Kahrod.

Witnesses said they saw James gesturing as if in a desperate attempt try to diffuse the violent situation but, sadly to no avail.

At court, Kahrod claimed he feared he was being attacked and didn’t realise the kitchen knife had penetrated his victim but this was rejected by the jury.

In 2018, Kahrod, of Walsall Road, Aldridge was sentenced to 17 years in prison after being convicted of murder.

After the case, Detective Chief Inspector Chris Mallet said police never established the true events of the night and only Kahrod knew the motive.

Mr Brindley said his family were currently designing a memorial garden for Aldridge in memory of James.

Flowers left on Aldridge High Street in the aftermath of the stabbing

The passionate campaigners have already set up the anti-youth violence charity The James Brindley Foundation and unveiled Walsall’s first knife bin.

Mrs Brindley said: “In 2017, our son James was attacked and murdered as he walked home alone in Aldridge.

“This happened less than a 150 yards from our home, opposite the church where my husband and I were married and where James and his sister used to cross the road to go to primary school, somewhere we as a family always felt safe.

“James’ murder has devastated every aspect of our lives both as individuals and as a family unit.

“The dreadful consequences for our everyday lives have been relentless for that day to this.

Beverley and Mark Brindley with the knife bin in Walsall

“From ongoing mental health issues and the financial burden losing our family business, we are now forced to make extremely difficult decisions for the sake of our wellbeing and financial security in the future.

“Despite our love for Aldridge, the wonderful community and all our friends around us, we must sell our family home and move away to avoid the daily agony of passing the place where James was attacked and a few yards away where he later died.

“This move will allow us to shore up our shattered finances and remove the unavoidable daily torture on our doorstep.

“Our home is unofficially on the market and we have had significant number of prospective purchases and viewing without exception all have remarked on the size of the tree being incongruous with the size of garden, it’s location and also the detrimental impact on plants adjacent.

Mark and Beverley Brindley address Walsall Council's planning committee.

“All of them expressed their reluctance to buy simply because of the tree, the TPO and conditions applied to the incumbent owner.

“Removal of the TPO on our tree will be a lifeline for our private lives and will safeguard our capacity our charity work for the local public benefit.”

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