THE family of Ryan Passey have now served civil prosecution papers on the man accused of stabbing him to death in a Stourbridge nightspot.

Adrian Passey has begun private legal proceedings on behalf of his son, who was just 24 when he died on August 6, 2017, to try to hold Kobe Murray to account for the tragedy.

Murray, who was 19 at the time, was acquitted after a criminal trial at Birmingham Crown Court in February 2018 of both murder and manslaughter charges.

A keen footballer like Ryan, Murray from Dudley had denied the charges - claiming self-defence - but admitted in court that he had "stabbed out" at Ryan, from Quarry Bank, during a fracas in the former Chicago's club and he told how he "felt bone" as he did so. But the jury found him not guilty and Murray walked free after telling the court he had reacted out of "fear".

Ryan's family, however, have been left feeling let down by the justice system and have been fighting for 'justice for Ryan' since the trial. They have spent the last two years looking at how they might challenge the verdict which has been branded 'perverse' and they have now served civil papers on Murray in the hope of achieving some redress.

Jason Connon, spokesman for the Justice for Ryan campaign, said: "Our aim is to prove via the civil court that Kobe Murray unlawfully killed Ryan Passey. We intend to prove that Kobe Murray intentionally used the knife to stab Ryan without any lawful excuse."

The Justice for Ryan campaign has been working with private investigators Russ Whitfield of Liberton Investigations and Simon Bates of Artifex investigations and barrister Matthew Stanbury, of Garden Court Chambers, and Chris Topping, of Broudie, Jackson, Cantor.

Jason said the civil prosecution is just one of a number of steps they will be taking in the months ahead to "finally get justice for Ryan".

He thanked all those who have supported the campaign to date and he added: "This year has been particularly difficult with the impact of Covid on our campaigning activities, but we maintained from day one that we would fight on for the rightful justice Ryan deserves and no matter difficult or how long that takes.

"We will never give up."