Tyne & Wear

Scott Pritchard murder: Wrongly accused father dies

Scott Pritchard Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Scott Pritchard died in 2004 after being attacked in the street

A man wrongly accused of killing his son has died three days after a woman was jailed for the murder.

Scott Pritchard, 19, was viciously attacked outside his home in Lindsay Close, Sunderland, in January 2004 and died in hospital.

His father Robert Stacey was charged with his murder and spent weeks on remand but the case was later dropped.

Karen Tunmore, 36, handed herself in to police in July and was jailed for life on 1 October.

She confessed she bludgeoned Mr Pritchard to death with a baseball bat after travelling to Sunderland in order to collect a financial debt from him.

Mr Stacey, known as Fred, spent 16 weeks on remand before the Crown Prosecution Service said there was no "realistic chance" of a conviction and he was formally acquitted in 2005.

He had a heart attack just days before Tunmore, of Killingworth, was jailed for a minimum of 17 and half years and died on Thursday, three days after the sentencing.

Image copyright Northumbria Police
Image caption Karen Tunmore attacked Scott Pritchard with a baseball bat

In a victim personal statement which was read out on his behalf before Tunmore was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court, Mr Stacey said people continued to shout abuse at him, even though he was cleared.

He said at times he had been scared to walk around Sunderland city centre "for fear of being accused of a crime I did not commit".

Det Ch Ins John Bent, from Northumbria Police, said: "Our sincere condolences go to the family of Fred Stacey who are faced with the devastating news of his death just days after his son's killer was brought to justice.

"We will continue to offer our support to the family."

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