Demands for change after 'wrongful acquittal' of man who stabbed clubber Ryan Passey

The “wrongful acquittal” of the man who stabbed Ryan Passey has left his family unable to grieve properly and saddled with daily trauma, MPs have heard.

Ryan Passey was stabbed to death in a Stourbridge nightclub in 2017
Ryan Passey was stabbed to death in a Stourbridge nightclub in 2017

The 24-year-old was stabbed to death in a Stourbridge nightclub in 2017 but Kobe Murray walked free from court despite admitting stabbing him.

Ryan's case took centre stage in a Westminster Hall debate on the "escalating horror story" of knife crime in the West Midlands, led by Stourbridge MP Suzanne Webb.

A statement from the family, read by Ms Webb, said: "Ryan was an amazing, bubbly 24-year-old who loved football, his family, friends and life.

"On August 6, 2017, our whole world was shattered when on a night out with his best friend, Ryan was stabbed through his heart inside a busy nightclub in Stourbridge, and died shortly later at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham."

The statement said that in February 2018 at Birmingham Crown Court, Murray, who admitted to stabbing Ryan, was "unbelievably acquitted of both his murder and manslaughter, claiming he’d acted in self-defence and accidentally stabbed Ryan.

"Kobe [Murray] walked free from court without any punishment.

"The acquittal verdict for our family caused us double trauma. It was as though Ryan had been murdered twice. The past five years continue to be traumatic for us all, and we have not been able to grieve properly for Ryan.

"No family should have to go through what we are experiencing. We continue to suffer daily due to the loss of our only child. His sudden death leaves our lives empty and always wondering what might have been.

"The impact on our lives is immeasurable."

Stourbridge MP Suzanne Webb speaking during a Westminster Hall debate on knife crime

In an emotional address, Ms Webb spoke of the "life-changing consequences" of carrying a knife. She highlighted a number of recent incidents in the West Midlands including the fatal stabbings of Bailey Atkinson, 20, and Akeem Francis-Kerr, 29, and vowed to continue to fight for justice for the Passey family.

She said: "I won't let go of Ryan's story until justice is done. The question is, how can we accept that our justice system is fair and that juries can make mistakes and wrongly convict, and that there is a mechanism to appeal a wrongful conviction - yet we don't accept the jury can make a wrongful acquittal decision, and there is currently no mechanism for appeal?"

Ms Webb noted that a review into the investigation into Ryan's death was ongoing, and that the Passey family had won a civil case against Kobe Murray.

"I will support them until the end of the Earth and then some until they get the peace they deserve, which is justice for Ryan," she told MPs.

"The simple truth is, to those who carry a knife, is that you will either be the perpetrator of a knife crime or the victim. The other simple truth is that those who carry knives have a simple choice not to carry a knife.

"Ryan was not carrying a knife. His life tragically got caught up in what is quickly becoming an escalating horror story of knife crime in the West Midlands.

"I urge the Police and Crime Commissioner and West Midlands Police to do more to ensure than no other family suffers as much as the Passey family have had to do, and still are."

Ryan, who would have been 30 this year, was stabbed to death in the old Chicago's nightclub. Following a trial, a jury found Kobe Murray not guilty of both murder and manslaughter after accepting his argument that he acted in self-defence.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News