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Two jailed for life for murdering footballer in Boxing Day nightclub stabbing

Cody Fisher was murdered on the dancefloor of a Birmingham nightclub on Boxing Day 2022 (Chris Jepson/Bromsgrove Sporting FC/PA)
Cody Fisher was murdered on the dancefloor of a Birmingham nightclub on Boxing Day 2022 (Chris Jepson/Bromsgrove Sporting FC/PA)

Two men have been jailed for life for the murder of footballer Cody Fisher, who was stabbed to death inside a Birmingham nightclub on Boxing Day in 2022 as part of a “sustained attack on a man who was significantly outnumbered”.

Remy Gordon, 23, and Kami Carpenter, 22, had blamed each other for stabbing the 23-year-old former Birmingham City academy player, who died at the scene from a chest wound, but both were found guilty of his murder last month while a third defendant, Reegan Anderson, 19, was cleared.

Gordon and Anderson were also found guilty of affray in relation to a “targeted” attack on a friend of Mr Fisher immediately after the stabbing, in which he was chased across the dancefloor and kicked as he lay “defenceless” on the ground.

A 10-week trial was told Mr Fisher was attacked with a weapon smuggled through security into Digbeth’s Crane nightclub before a pre-planned “act of retribution” for a minor incident two days earlier.

Cody Fisher with his mother Tracey, who described him as her ‘youngest boy, best friend and her angel’ (Family handout/West Midlands Police/PA)

Jurors at Birmingham Crown Court were told that Gordon, of Cofton Park Drive, Birmingham, orchestrated the “awful revenge” after Mr Fisher made brief “unavoidable” contact with his back while leaving the packed Popworld nightclub in Solihull two days earlier on Christmas Eve.

On Monday, Judge Paul Farrer KC jailed Gordon and Carpenter, of Owens Croft, Kings Norton, for a minimum of 26 and 25 years respectively.

Judge Farrer said some “inevitable” contact was made between Mr Fisher and Gordon as they attempted to leave Popworld and Gordon immediately became “aggressive”.

He said: “Instead of shrugging off what was obviously an accident, Remy Gordon chose to take offence and became immediately aggressive.

“The focus of his aggression appears to have been Cody Fisher, who he asked to go outside and fight.

Cody Fisher was killed as part of a ‘planned act of retribution’ orchestrated by Remy Gordon, Birmingham Crown Court heard (Family handout/West Midlands Police/PA)

“Gordon probably expected Mr Fisher to back down but instead Mr Fisher stood up to him and accepted the invitation.

“Another man then intervened and sought to defuse the situation.”

Gordon was left “frustrated and embarrassed” that his attempts to “bully” Mr Fisher were not successful and, within four minutes of leaving Popworld, Gordon was sending messages about him in a group chat with his friends.

Judge Farrer said Gordon believed he had been “disrespected”, which led to the incident on Boxing Day at the Crane.

He said: “Cody Fisher was surrounded by a group of three or four youths, including Gordon and Carpenter.

“Gordon was immediately aggressive, pushing his face into Mr Fisher’s and repeatedly demanding that he come outside.

“Mr Fisher wasn’t prepared to go outside but was prepared to defend himself if necessary.

“The attack upon Mr Fisher lasted no more than 37 seconds. It involved punches and kicks, including a blow to the face of sufficient force to fracture the back of Mr Fisher’s jaw, on both sides.

“In short, this was a sustained attack on a man who was significantly outnumbered and stood little or no chance of defending himself.”

He said the attack only ended when Carpenter stabbed Mr Fisher in the chest.

Cody Fisher with his father Christian (Family handout/West Midlands Police/PA)

Judge Farrer added: “Remy Gordon, as I’ve observed, after the incident you sought to suggest that Kami Carpenter was solely responsible for the killing of Cody Fisher. The reality is very different.

“You were essentially the leader of your group. It was you that felt slighted by Cody Fisher and it was you that planned and drove this attack.

“You were well aware that Kami Carpenter had a knife, and you intended that it would be used to cause Cody Fisher at least really serious injury.

“I cannot be sure that you necessarily intended that Mr Fisher should be killed, as opposed to being caused really serious injury, but, on any view, you were wholly reckless as to which would occur.”

In a statement read out in court, Mr Fisher’s girlfriend, Jessica Chatwin, who was with him the night he was killed, said her world “shattered” as her boyfriend took his last breaths in her arms.

Cody Fisher death court case
Remy Gordon was jailed for a minimum of 26 years (West Midlands Police/PA)

She said: “Seconds before that moment I remember turning around and looking at Cody behind me and he gave me the biggest smile full of love and happiness – now I question if that was his goodbye.

“The next time I turned around he was surrounded by those attacking him and I watched him fall to the floor, then reality struck that he had been fatally stabbed.

“I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with Cody. Now I have to face the world without his love and guidance, something he always showed me while we were together.

“He was my strength in every situation and now I have to face it all alone.”

A statement from Mr Fisher’s mother Tracey, who did not enter the courtroom but was in the building during the sentencing hearing, was also read out in which she said it was “too much for a mother to bear” to hear the defendants’ “abhorrent lies”.

Cody Fisher death court case
Kami Carpenter was sentenced to a minimum of 25 years in prison (West Midlands Police/PA)

Paying tribute to her son, her statement said: “Since this horrendous day I feel that my own life has ended, it is as though I too was stabbed straight through the heart.

“I have seen myself go from the happiest, outgoing person, to fighting the hell out of just getting through each and every horrendous, never-ending day in the abhorrent knowledge that my youngest son, my best friend, is never coming home to sleep in his bedroom, the room that I still cannot enter even to this day.

“I instilled in Cody from a young boy that he must stick up for himself and don’t let anyone bully him.

“I told him that sad, weak individuals do exist in our society and they ruin lives – how ironic and saddening that this is exactly what happened to Cody.

“He was only doing what his mum told him to do and I think about this every day, but you never expect your child to be murdered.”

Prosecutor Michael Duck KC told the court Gordon was later captured on CCTV in a pizza takeaway restaurant “re-enacting the attack… and laughing while he did so”.

He said the men had shown no remorse for what they had done and had sought to evade capture, with Gordon attempting to flee to Jamaica and Carpenter to London, before their arrests.

Judge Farrer also sentenced Anderson to 18 months for affray, but he was free to leave court having served nearly 15 months in custody since his arrest.

None of the defendants showed any emotion as their sentences were handed down.

Detective Inspector Michelle Thurgood, from West Midlands Police, said: “The absolute tragedy of Cody’s death is just how avoidable it was.

“For a young man’s life to be snatched away, because he’d accidentally bumped into Remy Gordon two days earlier, is almost incomprehensible.”