Express & Star

Ryan Passey: Civil proceedings begin in stabbing victim case

Civil proceedings against a man who was cleared of murdering an amateur footballer in a Black Country nightclub have officially begun after representatives for the victim's family appeared at a county court.

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Ryan Passey’s father Adrian, centre, with friend Jason Connon, left, and private investigator Russ Winfield

Solicitors attended a preliminary hearing at Liverpool County Court earlier this month to launch the case against Kobe Murray, who stood trial over the murder of Ryan Passey but was cleared by a jury.

Legal directions were given during a short hearing on July 1, to allow a full hearing to take place at a later date. Details of the hearing have only now been revealed.

Mr Passey, 24, was stabbed to death at Chicago's nightclub in Stourbridge in 2017. His parents were left devastated when the man accused of murdering him was cleared at trial.

Mr Murray admitted stabbing talented footballer Ryan but said he did so in self-defence, which was accepted by a jury who found him not guilty.

Ryan Passey died in 2017, aged 24

Friend and Passey family spokesman Jason Connon said the next steps over the coming weeks would involve outlining which documents the family will rely on for their case and submitting a statement outlining the background of the case.

Around £50,000 in legal fees so far have been met thanks to donations to the Justice for Ryan campaign, while the family have also hired a private investigator.

The civil case could only result in financial penalties but the Passey family, from Quarry Bank, believe a verdict in their favour would strengthen their case for a criminal retrial.

Ryan was stabbed at Chicago's in Stourbridge

It comes as they continue their campaign to change the law around courtroom verdicts and make juries explain how they reached their decisions in the most serious cases to give victims' families more insight and understanding of jury discussions.

They have so far faced resistance from ministers but insist they will not give up their fight for change.

Mr Passey's father Ade told the Express & Star in May: "Going forward, if we can get to where we want to get, we’ve left a legacy for Ryan and it obviously doesn’t happen to anyone else. We just want answers.

“It’s very hard but we’re just keeping ourselves strong... it does keep us going.”

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