Birmingham: man charged with murder as bus stabbing victim named

Leon Barrett-Hazle (inset) was stabbed as he sat on an 11A bus travelling down Rookery Road in BirminghamGoogle, West Midlands Police

A 25-year-old man from the Handsworth area of Birmingham has been charged with the murder of a bus passenger in an incident on Monday night (23rd January). Kieran Gillespie, of Wellesbourne Road, is to appear before magistrates in the city on Friday over the murder of 36-year-old Leon Barrett-Hazle from Smethwick.

Barrett-Hazle was on the top deck of the 11A as it passed along Rookery Road when he was reportedly stabbed several times in the abdomen and back by another passenger who had just boarded. His assailant got off and ran towards nearby Soho Road. Barrett-Hazle was treated by emergency services but died of his injuries a short time later. A number of people who were also aboard the bus are thought to have witnessed the incident.

In a statement, Detective Inspector Warren Hines, from West Midlands Police CID, said: "We still need these witnesses to come forward to help us establish exactly what happened on the top deck of the 11A service on Monday evening in Rookery Road. The family of the victim is being kept informed of the latest development in our investigation and our thoughts remain with them."

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Gillespie is reported by the Birmingham Mail to have turned himself in at a police station after CCTV was released.

The family of Barrett-Hazle said in a statement published by the BBC: "Family and friends are devastated by the tragic loss of a wonderful, warm, kind, generous of heart and much-loved Leon Barrett Hazle. We have been robbed of the best son, grandson, brother, nephew, cousin, uncle and friend anyone could ever wish for."

Det Insp Hines can be contacted on 101. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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