Three sentenced for assisting Solihull killer's escape bid

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L-R Kelly Palmer, Zak Palmer and Kelly CaseyImage source, West Midlands Police
Image caption,
Kelly Palmer, 41, Zak Palmer, 23 and Kelly Casey, 39, were convicted after trial at Birmingham Crown Court

Three people who helped a killer to try and go on the run have been sentenced.

Callum Lees, 20, was stabbed in the neck following a row at a party in Solihull in August 2017

His killer, James Atherley, went on the run to Newcastle before being later arrested and convicted of murder.

Kelly Palmer, 41 and Kelly Casey, 39, both of Letitia Avenue, Solihull, and Zak Palmer, 23, of Fallowfield Road were convicted after a trial.

Kelly Palmer received an 18-month sentence as did Casey while Zak Palmer received two years.

Image source, Family handout
Image caption,
Callum Lees was found collapsed in a street

Casey's sentence was suspended for two years.

West Midlands Police said all three were involved in helping Atherley escape after he stabbed Mr Lees after the house party in Hopwas Grove, Kinghurst.

Officers said phone records showed Atherley called Zak Palmer immediately after the killing and all three assisted him in getting cash, sim cards and using a hire car to take him to a hotel in Coventry.

Image source, Crimestoppers
Image caption,
James Atherley has been jailed for a minimum term of 26 years

Kelly Palmer and Casey were then involved in taking Atherley from Coventry to Lincolnshire, before he headed to Newcastle, the force said.

Atherley, of Wells Road, Solihull, was found guilty of murder at Birmingham Crown Court in August last year and sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 26 years.

Speaking after the latest sentencing, Det Insp Jim Colclough said: "Atherley and his accomplices thought they were clever enough to evade police capture, they were wrong."

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