20th Aug, 2017

Police search for James Atherley in connection with Callum Lees stabbing

DETECTIVES investigating the fatal stabbing of Callum Lees in Kinghurst have named a man they want to speak with − James Atherley.

It is understood Callum, aged 20, was stabbed in the neck following a dispute at a house party in Hopwas Grove on Sunday morning (August 6).

He was found collapsed in nearby Haselour Road by a member of the public and later died in hospital.

Police have so far arrested three people in connection with the murder.

They have now named 21-year-old James Atherley, formerly of Wells Road in Solihull, as a suspect and have released his image.

West Midlands Police detective inspector Jim Munro urged anyone with information on Mr Atherley’s whereabouts to get in touch.

He also warned anyone hindering the investigation by sheltering Mr Atherley runs the risk of being jailed.

He said: “This is a tragic case in which a young man has lost his life in awful circumstances: Callum has been attacked in a flat, managed to stagger outside for help but has collapsed and died.

“Our enquiries have identified James Atherley as someone we’d like to question about Callum’s murder. If anyone knows where he is, or has seen him in the last few days, I’d urge them to call us immediately.

“They can call me on the 101 number or speak to the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously; all information will be treated with the utmost confidence.

“I’m also still keen to hear from anyone who was at the party in Hopwas Grove on Saturday night and Sunday morning and they could be important witnesses.”

Callum’s family have described him as “a beautiful, caring, kind soul who was much loved”.

A statement released on behalf of the family added: “Everyone who knew him only had good words to say. Our world has been shattered and will never be the same again. We love you Callum.”

Three men aged 21, 20 and 18 arrested in connection with the stabbing have been bailed while enquiries progress.

Anyone with information on Mr Atherley’s whereabouts can call the West Midlands Police Homicide Unit on 101 (ext 863 3047) or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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