STOURBRIDGE MP Suzanne Webb mentioned the "terrible tragedy" of the killing of Ryan Passey in Parliament when she called for the government to be tougher on knife crime.
Ryan, aged 24, from Quarry Bank was stabbed to death in a single blow to the chest at the old Chicago's nightspot in Stourbridge town centre.
Despite admitting he stabbed Ryan, Kobe Murray, then aged 19, was cleared of his murder and an alternative count of manslaughter of Ryan at Birmingham Crown Court in 2018. Speaking in Home Office questions on Monday, Suzanne asked policing minister Kit Malthouse: “In 2017, my constituent Ryan Passey was killed with a knife inside a nightclub in Stourbridge. "Absurdly, the perpetrator was acquitted.
“I am grateful for the work done by the government so far on sentencing, but does the minister agree that we need to be tough not just on sentencing, but on all aspects that have thus far allowed the perpetrators of knife crime to go free?" In reply, the minister said: “My honourable friend raises a terrible case. The family of Mr Passey have our deep condolences.
"My honourable friend is quite right that we need to concentrate on every aspect of this, from enforcement through to prevention and, frankly, long-term work with young people that shows them that carrying a knife is dangerous not only to others, but fundamentally to themselves.
"There is a better way.
"We all need to stand shoulder to shoulder with my honourable friend and her constituents to show young people that way in life.”
Ryan's family recently met with justice minister Alex Chalk and Suzanne to look to change the laws so that juries have to give a reason for their verdicts if they are considered “perverse”.
Kobe Murray was cleared of the murder and an alternative count of manslaughter of Ryan at Birmingham Crown Court in 2018.
He admitted stabbing the talented footballer at Chicago’s nightclub but said he did it in self-defence.
Speaking afterwards, Suzanne said: “I fully support the Justice for Ryan Passey campaign and I will continue to help Ryan’s family to highlight this terrible tragedy as a warning that knife crime destroys lives and that this is an injustice.
“I will also continue to lobby for a change in the law around the carrying of knives and self-defence in addition to supporting the family’s desire to see if the law can be changed to ensure juries must give a reason for their verdict in certain circumstances.”