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Rob Spray petition approaching 100k demanding Foreign Office investigation

By Richard Guttridge | Cannock | News | Published:

Calls for a Foreign Office investigation into the death of an England fan in Bulgaria could soon be debated in Parliament.

Rob Spray

A petition launched by a friend of Rob Spray, from Heath Hayes, Cannock, who died in police custody, is closing in on the 100,000 signatures needed for it to be considered by MPs.

The family of the 32-year-old West Brom fan have demanded answers about what happened to him.

Bulgarian authorities said he died in transit to a police station after earlier being found in a "helpless condition".

A post-mortem examination found he died from cardiac arrest.

Lorry driver Mr Spray had flown out to the Bulgarian captial Sofia for a friend's 30th birthday to watch England's Euro 2020 qualifier in October.

His body has been flown back to the UK and his inquest has been provisionally scheduled for April.

Roger Wootton's petition has now attracted just over 97,000 signatures, meaning only 3,000 more are needed for it to be considered for debate.

The Government says petitions which reach the 100,000 mark "are almost always debated".

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Mr Wootton said: "He died in police custody - and we have been left in limbo not getting help to find out what happened.

"We still don’t know how he died or why he was in custody. That’s why we’re calling for the Foreign Office to hold their own independent investigation.

"Rob was a British citizen and it’s their job to find out what happened.

"He died abroad but that doesn’t mean our authorities can wash their hands of him - he deserves a proper investigation."

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Cannock Chase MP Amanda Milling said she had spoken to foreign office ministers and that the "circumstances around his death raise a number of serious questions".

Mr Spray, who was part of a group of 11 friends, was said to have been found in the centre of the city and taken to hospital.

Bulgarian authorities said he then began to act aggressively and the police were called and that Mr Spray later died while being transported to a police station.

His sister Katie Brown has said it would have been out of character for her brother to have behaved aggressively and that the family "just want to know what happened".

The petition can be viewed at change.org/p/foreign-office-investigate-the-tragic-death-of-rob-spray.

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Investigations Editor - @RichG_star

Investigations Editor for the Express & Star.

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