Express & Star

Ryan Passey: MP calls on police to co-operate with private investigation into nightclub death

An MP has called on West Midlands Police to co-operate with a private investigation into the death of a young man who was killed in a nightclub following complaints from his family that they are being ignored.

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

The family of Ryan Passey have hired a private investigatorin the hope of unearthing fresh evidence over his killing.

The 24-year-old, from Quarry Bank, was stabbed to death at Chicago's in Stourbridgein 2017. Kobe Murray was cleared of murder by a jury the following year. He admitted stabbing amateur footballer Mr Passey but the jury accepted he did so in self defence.

Mr Passey's family have been left frustrated in their attempts to get support from West Midlands Police in their campaign for justice.

They said a letter to the force had gone unanswered, while Stourbridge MP Suzanne Webb, who is backing the family's campaign, also said she had not had any response from police chiefs.

Ryan Passey died in 2017, aged 24

Ms Webb said it would be a "positive move forward" if the police decided to co-operate.

West Midlands Police said it had worked closely with the family "over the years".

Ms Webb said: "My thoughts are very much with Ryan’s family and friends four years on from his untimely and unnecessary death.

"As each year passes without justice, it must get harder for them but I pay tribute to their tenacity in wanting justice for Ryan

"My commitment to the campaign does not waver. I have met with the family’s private investigator and it is clear issues are still coming to light that could be important.

"I have also reached out to West Midlands Police, who still have not replied or engaged with myself or the family. It would be a positive move forward if the force did so."

Ryan was stabbed at Chicago's in Stourbridge

Private investigator Russ Winfield, a former detective of more than 30 years, previously told the Express & Star the Passeys were "struggling to maintain any form of confidence in West Midlands Police" because of the lack of co-operation.

It comes after civil proceedings brought by the family against Mr Murray were officially launched last month.

Solicitors attended a preliminary hearing at Liverpool County Court, with a full hearing to take place at a later date.

A West Midlands Police spokesman said: "We’ve worked closely with Ryan’s family in their bid for justice and fully understand their pain. A 19-year-old man was charged with Ryan’s murder but a jury found him not guilty.

"Over the years we’ve written to and shared information with them and organised meetings with senior officers, including the Assistant Chief Constable, in order to offer what support and answers we can.

"If new significant evidence comes to light we would review and look to re-open the case if appropriate."

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