Birmingham & Black Country

Man jailed after killing Blakenhall dad-of-six

Stephen Phillips Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Stephen Phillips died from a head injury, a post-mortem test showed

A man has been jailed for 10 years after admitting killing a father-of-six by punching him in the head, causing him to fall and fracture his skull.

The death of Stephen Phillips, 54, at his Wolverhampton flat was not thought to be suspicious but tests proved he was struck before he fell.

Lewis Thornton, 24, went on trial for manslaughter and robbery but changed his pleas to guilty.

Thornton, of no fixed abode, was sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

Mr Phillips had his mobile phone stolen by Thornton on 11 March 2014.

Image caption Mr Phillips' partner Tina Fury (far right) said she and his children 'have a life sentence without him'

He walked from the scene on Derry Street, at its junction with Birmingham Road in Blakenhall, to his flat in nearby Dudley Road. His son Barry found him dead the next day.

A post-mortem examination showed he died from a brain injury sustained the previous evening.

Following sentencing, Mr Phillips' partner Tina Fury said it was heartbreaking he was killed for "a £20 mobile phone".

"I'll never ever accept [Thornton's] apology, never. It won't bring Steve back and we've got a life sentence without him," Ms Fury said.

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