Family of Ryan Passey launch civil action against man cleared of murdering him
The family of a young man who was stabbed to death in a Stourbridge nightclub have formally launched civil action against the man who was cleared of murdering him.
Ryan Passey died after being knifed in Chicago's in Stourbridge in 2017. Kobe Murray was later cleared by a jury. He admitted stabbing Mr Passey but said he did so in self-defence.
Mr Passey's family insist they were failed by the criminal justice system and are now taking the civil route in the hope of securing public recognition that the 24-year-old was unlawfully killed.
They have also hired a private investigator and hope fresh evidence could result in a re-trial.
Friend and family spokesman Jason Connon said the legal action underlined the feeling of injustice felt by the Passey family, who were left distraught by the not guilty verdict.
Civil proceedings, which will cost the family between £85,000 and £100,000, have been formally launched ahead of the third anniversary of Mr Passey's death this week.
A Justice for Ryan campaign has helped to raise thousands of pounds for legal costs.
Civil action can only result in damages but the recognition would be more important for the family.
Mr Connon said: "The family were failed by the criminal courts so we are going to the civil courts. It's about holding Murray to account publicly through the courts. We shouldn't have to be doing this.
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"We always said we would never give up on justice. From speaking to other families a lot of them give up because it's such a difficult undertaking. It's probably what they hoped we would do."
The Passey family have accused West Midlands Police of frustrating the private investigation by refusing to co-operate and share intelligence.
Requests by the Express & Star for the final report from the force's case review following the acquittal of Mr Murray to be released have so far been denied.
Mr Passey was stabbed after trouble flared in the nightclub. Mr Passey, from Quarry Bank, died from a knife wound and Mr Murray admitted stabbing him, but said it was an accident.
Mr Connon added: "We want to prove it wasn't reasonable or lawful. We are confident of winning the legal claim."
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