Radio Sandwell African / Caribbean News

Julian Webster death: CPS wrong not to charge anyone

2014-05-19 23:40:57

Sonia Webster
Sonia Webster, mother of Julian Webster, at the protest outside the High Court in Birmingham

A mum battling for justice over her son's death has won a legal victory after judges ruled prosecutors were wrong not to charge anyone with manslaughter.

Julian Webster, 24, from Edgbaston, died after being restrained in a headlock by door staff during a night out in Manchester in April 2009.

At the High Court in Birmingham, judges ruled the original Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decision not to charge anyone with manslaughter was wrong.

The case will now be reconsidered.

Lord Justice Elias said prosecutors had not given sufficient consideration to inquest evidence from a police officer which labelled the restraint technique used by one of the doormen as "highly dangerous."

Afterwards Julian's mother Sonia Webster, who had been given leave to appeal against the original CPS decision, said: "I cannot believe after five years I have actually got something to hold on to.

"I feel justified, but disgusted and let down by the CPS.

"Reasonable force does not kill you. There were three men, they were bigger and taller than Julian. What did they think the outcome was going to be?

"He was struggling and in pain and was unable to breathe. We need closure."

Sonia Webster
Sonia Webster and fellow protesters outside the High Court in Birmingham

Maxie Hayles, from the Julian Webster Campaign, said: "This means the CPS will have to go back and re-examine things properly."

The court heard Mr Webster had been with friends in Manchester when he visited the Pitcher and Piano bar.

He left the venue at one time but when he tried to return to get his mobile phone he was involved in an altercation with two bouncers and a bar manager.

Rajiv Menon QC, for Mrs Webster, said although reasonable force was initially used to restrain Mr Webster, he was then held in a neck lock for eight minutes, which had been "excessive, disproportionate and unlawful."

Mr Webster collapsed and was later pronounced dead in hospital.

An inquest jury found that the restraint had played a "significant role" in his death.

Responding to the High Court ruling, Nazir Afzal, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West, said: "We will now reflect on the court's decision and carry out a further review of the case.

"Our sympathies remain with Julian Webster's family and friends who have suffered such a sad loss."

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