Ryan Passey ride-out raises £2,000 as 40,000 sign petition
A petition to spark a parliamentary debate on a ground-breaking legal fight to get justice for a young knife victim has reached the 40,000 mark.
The news came as more than 200 bikers took part in a fundraising ride-out in memory of Ryan Passey who died following a stabbing at a Stourbridge nightclub in August last year.
The event raised £1,800 for the fighting fund and a raffle is expected to raise the total to more than £2,000.
WATCH: Fundraisers ride for Ryan
It was organised by John Hill, a close friend of Ryan's father and licensee of The Widders pub, Barrack Lane, Halesowen, where the ride-out to Bridgnorth started from and ended.
He said: "We've raised more than £30,000 over five years for different charities here at the pub but this is the most important cause so far."
Ryan's father Adrian Passey, who attended the ride-out with other family members, said: "I've been overwhelmed by the turn-out and the support we've been getting. This was an amazing day."
In February, Kobe Murray was found not guilty of the murder and manslaughter of the 24-year-old following a two-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court.
He admitted stabbing Ryan but said it happened accidentally as he was pushing him away. He also said the knife had belonged to a friend. West Midlands Police is reviewing the case, with officers looking for new evidence.
But the victim's family and friends are calling for the right to appeal jury verdicts. Their campaign, called Justice For Ryan, is seeking a change in the law to allow for victims and their families to challenge a jury’s decision on an acquittal.
If their petition reaches 100,000 signatures, their cause will get debated in Parliament.
Close family friend Jason Connon said 25,000 people had so far signed the online petition while another 15,000 names had been added to paper petitions at events such as Sunday's ride-out.
Around £10,000 has been raised so far towards the fighting fund to cover legal costs.
Mr Connon said: "We know it's going to be a long and difficult fight but we're not going to give up."
Since the verdict, Stourbridge MP Margot James has written to the Government’s Attorney General over the case.
Also at the ride-out were Ryan's mother Gill and her husband Phil Taylor, along with Adrian's partner Debbie.
The next fundraiser will be a memorial football match between Wolves All-Stars and a ‘Justice for Ryan’ team on September 30.
The event will be held at Stourbridge FC and will be preceded by a march highlighting the rise in knife crime.