The brutal murder of Shane Watson sent shockwaves through the communities of Sedgley when the tragic news was announced recently.
After enjoying a night out at Monty’s Wine Bar, the 23-year-old former Dormston School pupil was on his way home to Monument Lane when he was
viciously attacked in the alleyway leading off Springfield Grove, leaving him with serious head injuries from which he later died in hospital.
Shylon Wishart, 19, of North Springfield, and James Cartwright, 18, of Sandyfields Road, both from Sedgley, were charged with Shane’s murder soon afterwards and a trial date has been provisionally set for April next year.
Residents living near the alleyway say the thoroughfare has long been a magnet for drug dealers and anti-social behaviour and, at last night’s Police and Communities Together (PACT) meeting at Dormston School, it was revealed more than 2,ooo people have signed a petition calling for it to be closed.
At the meeting, which was attended by almost 100 people including Shane’s friends and relatives and local councillors, it was claimed that reports and complaints about the alleyway had been ignored for years. In addition to calls for its closure, residents suggested alternatives including CCTV, improved lighting and installing gates.
Numerous opinions were expressed as to whether closing the alleyway would be the best option and several residents expressed concerns regarding health and safety if this were to happen.
Sergeant Rob Simpson of West Midlands Police said he believed several other alleyways in Sedgley were also a problem and that numerous complaints were pending on these. Detectives are still appealing to clubbers who were in Monty’s Wine Bar the night Shane died to come forward with any information which could shed light on events.
The meeting ended with the promise of a consultation with police and local councillors, although a date for this has yet to be set.
Other topics discussed at the meeting included concerns regarding a stalker at the Queen Vic School and a community group has been set up by concerned mothers to highlight this issue. Another local resident appealed for support with the work she is carrying out at the youth centre near Dormston School.