Ryan Passey: Police quizzed over nine lines of inquiry that may have been missed during probe

The family of Ryan Passey has called for a review into his case to look into nine lines of inquiry that police may have missed during the initial investigation.

Ryan Passey's father Adrian, centre, with Russ Winfield (right) and family friend Jason Connon
Ryan Passey's father Adrian, centre, with Russ Winfield (right) and family friend Jason Connon

West Midlands Police has announced that another force will conduct a review into the handling of the case, which saw Mr Passey stabbed to death in a Stourbridge nightclub in 2017.

Kobe Murray admitted knifing him but was cleared of murder and manslaughter after claiming he had acted in self-defence.

Private investigator Russ Winfield has now met with the Passey family to prepare for the review, which they have been demanding for the past two years.

He said he expected the reviewing force to be appointed "in a matter of weeks". He said they were hoping to "have an input" into the terms of reference of the review and that "new investigative opportunities" would be identified.

Mr Winfield, who runs Liberton Investigations, said: "Together with the family, we have been trying to get answers from West Midlands Police.

"In particular, we have identified nine areas of investigation that we feel may not have been done as well as they perhaps could have.

"Therefore, we will be asking the review team to look at those areas, plus any others that we identify once we start talking to them, in order to bring some form of closure for the family."

It was revealed in the Express & Star earlier this month that West Midlands Police had agreed to a review into the investigation, after the family had been critical of the force over a "lack of cooperation".

Mr Winfield, a former senior investigating police officer with experience of reviewing cases, said: "It is a shame it has taken so long for West Midlands Police to agree to a review, which has only caused angst to the family.

Ryan Passey was 24 when he died

"Now they have recognised the heartache caused it will undoubtedly help the family.

"In an investigation of this nature, I would have expected certain fairly obvious lines of inquiry to have been followed.

"And yet because West Midlands Police have not been totally open with us, at this point we have not been reassured that they were followed.

"What would be wonderful is if there are some further investigative opportunities which allows for a reinvestigation, but even if that doesn't take place then at least the family will have answers to what they perceive at the moment to be failings by West Midlands Police."

Mr Winfield added: "Both ourselves and the family have always wanted to work with West Midlands Police. We want to work alongside them so the family can get justice for Ryan.

"Unfortunately West Midlands Police did not seize the opportunities that there were to work with the family, which is why we are in the situation that we are in now."

Vanessa Jardine, Deputy Chief Constable at West Midlands Police, announced the review following a long-running campaign by the family and Stourbridge MP Suzanne Webb.

A spokesperson for West Midlands Police, said: "We have written to Ryan’s family via their local MP to confirm we are supportive of an independent review of our investigation into his death to be conducted by another force.

"We remain confident all appropriate avenues were explored into Ryan’s death and the evidence presented to the Crown Prosecution Service was strong enough to secure a conviction. We remain disappointed by the subsequent acquittal.

"We hope an independent review will provide Ryan’s family with reassurance that all investigative and evidential opportunities were taken.

"Our thoughts remain with Ryan’s family and friends."

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