Alex Stephens recently appeared on the Murder 24/7 documentary series which explored the murder case of Courtney Valentine-Brown.

If you’re looking for something utterly gripping, you can always rely on the BBC.

Any documentary buffs here?

In recent years, there has certainly been no shortage of quality non-fiction work across both television and film, with streaming services pushing themselves to the forefront of content. 

However, you don’t necessarily need to rush to Netflix to watch all of the latest and greatest. The likes of Channel 4 and the BBC continue to offer great content exploring the real-life and Murder 24/7 is absolutely essential for true crime fans. 

The series follows teams of detectives and officials working in murder investigations. Each episode strives to help paint a detailed and educational portrait of the way in which specialists work to ensure justice is served. While it’s engaging, there’s also no denying that the cases are particularly heartbreaking. 

Murder 24/7: Courtney Valentine-Brown case

The series began by tackling the case of Courtney Valentine-Brown.

As noted by the BBC, the 36-year-old was found with a stab wound to his leg in a flat in Southend-on-Sea on Thursday, February 21st 2019. Sadly, he later died from his injuries. Murder 24/7 chronicles the subsequent investigation and stresses the importance of the first couple of days in determining the culprits. 

The case received a break when eyewitnesses revealed they saw four people entering the flat ahead of the crime. They were able to identify two of them – the owner of the flat Kelly King and partner Ian Slater – but not the other two. 

However, the continuing investigation led to the discovery of both Alex Stephens and Stuart Pearson’s involvement…

Murder 24/7: Alex Stephens

First, officials found Ian Slater, who under questioning named Alex, declaring that it was he who was responsible for the murder. 

They later found the 36-year-old, who Essex Live notes was of Hamlet Court Road, Westcliff-on-Sea. He was sentenced to a life sentence of 26-years for the murder of Courtney Valentine-Brown, with the aforementioned Ian Slater also being sent down for life. Kelly and Stuart were both given nine years for manslaughter.  

The Sun highlights that the violence which occurred that night was the result of Courtney’s unpaid debts, including that the Crown Prosecution Service concluded: “Ian Slater, acting on behalf of Kelly King, recruited Alex Stephens and Stuart Pearson to visit the flat and confront Courtney regarding the debt… Taking knives and a baseball bat, they entered the flat through the front door and brutally attacked Courtney, severing a major artery in his leg and causing such an extreme loss of blood that, tragically, he lost his life.”

So, he was recruited rather than acting on any personal vendetta etc.


Alex Stephens: Further trial details

Essex Live spotlights that during the trial it was recounted that they went to force Courtney off the premises but things took a shocking turn. 

Why did Alex get life for his involvement?

Well, that’s because he was actually the one who stabbed the victim. He professed that his actions were conducted out of self-defence against Courtney, but the decision of his unwavering guilt was later reached nonetheless. 

He was sentenced – along with Ian Slater – on Wednesday, January 29th 2020. 

As outlined by Essex Police, Detective Chief Inspector Daniel Stoten – Senior Investigating Officer – said: “This was a tragic and ruthless murder where a much-loved man lost his life… Slater and Stephens armed themselves – a clear indication of their intent to cause harm. Despite being the aggressor, Stephens stated that he was acting in self-defence, which the jury rejected and found him guilty of murder. Their callous and cowardly actions have left another family devastated as a result of knife crime…”

In other news, Call the Midwife is coming back for more.