Birmingham & Black Country

Teenager cleared of murdering Ryan Passey at nightclub

Ryan Passey Image copyright Police handout
Image caption Ryan Passey was stabbed at a Stourbridge nightclub

A 19-year-old man has been cleared of murdering an amateur footballer who was stabbed in a West Midlands nightclub.

Ryan Passey, 24, was stabbed in the heart after a "trivial" altercation in Chicago's nightclub, Stourbridge, last August, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

Kobe Murray, who denied murdering Mr Passey, told the trial he had grabbed a knife from another man at the club.

He was also acquitted of an alternative count of manslaughter after the jury accepted he did not intend to harm him.

Mr Murray, of The Broadway, Dudley, was acquitted after a seven-day trial.

The jury heard Mr Passey had suffered a single fatal stab wound shortly after two altercations on the dance-floor, including one where punches were thrown.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Investigators examined the nightclub after the stabbing

Mr Passey, of Brierley Hill, died in hospital from his injuries.

The Crown had alleged Mr Murray deliberately plunged a knife into his chest in the early hours of 6 August, 2017.

But defence counsel James House QC, argued that Mr Murray may have "pushed out" as he was punched and then realised the knife had injured someone.

At the end of the case, trial judge Mr Justice Goose praised members of the public, including Mr Passey's relatives, for remaining calm throughout the proceedings, including the delivery of the verdicts.

"The jury made their decision, they have made it clear and there is nothing more that needs to be said," he told the court.

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