Sheffield Crown Court heard on August 19 how Montel Williams, aged 25, of Horndean Road, near Fir Vale, Sheffield, was involved in a confrontation with two other men after another relative had initially suffered a knife wound at a party in Sheffield.
Gordon Stables, prosecuting, said Williams had first learned his cousin had been stabbed and he got involved in a confrontation with two men he believed to be responsible and he threw a bottle which smashed.
Mr Stables added the two men, Ruben Moreno and Isaac Ramsey, pursued Williams and a knife was drawn and the defendant’s brother Marcus Ramsay came to his aid and was murdered.
Williams, who was subject to a suspended prison sentence for a previous offence, pleaded guilty to affray following the incident at Horninglow Road, Firth Park, Sheffield, on August 8, 2020.
James Gould, defending, said: “Given that the event ended in tragedy and given his personal connection to that gentleman my submission is that it would be unjust to impose a sentence of custody.”
Mr Gould added Williams has not committed any further offences and he has since become a father and he has an income and provides for his partner and their daughter.
He said: “The events of that night bore heavily on him and the tone of this report is of a man who has been reflective of what he had done that night and what beset his family and the tragedy.”
Mr Gould also said: “He has learned a heavy lesson about his conduct on that particular night and how events unfolded beyond his control. Those life-changing events of that night had a real impact on this man and to impose a custodial sentence would be disproprtionate.”
Judge Peter Kelson QC described the case as “wholly unusual” and “desperately tragic” and that not long after Williams’s actions his brother Marcus Ramsay had died.
However, he told Williams: “There is no doubt in my mind you bear no blame whatsoever for your brother’s death. You have suffered a terrible loss and I say again it was not your fault.”
Judge Kelson described Williams’s brother Marcus Ramsay as a hero and explained what had happened to him was a disproportionate over-reaction.
He sentenced Williams to a 12 month community order with a rehabilitation activity requirement and fined him £250.
Following a trial in July, Ruben Moreno, aged 18, formerly of Aldfield Way, Longley, Sheffield, was found guilty of murder, and Isaac Ramsey, aged 18, formerly of Andover Street, Burngreave, Sheffield, was found guilty of manslaughter after Marcus Ramsay had been stabbed to death.
Both were jailed for life with Moreno ordered to serve a minimum of 18 years’ custody and Ramsey was ordered to serve a minimum of 15 years’ custody.
Moreno and Ramsey were also convicted of attempted wounding with intent in relation to Williams. Moreno also admitted possessing a bladed article.
Ramsey was also convicted of wounding with intent after a separate assault in Gower Street, Burngreave, on December 20, 2019.