The mother of a man who died after being restrained in Manchester Victoria Station says she has had to fight for two years to ensure the circumstances of his death ‘comes under the full scrutiny of the criminal courts’.
Jack Barnes, a 29-year-old father from Hull, died after being chased and restrained by staff working at the station in October 2016. At a subsequent inquest into his death, a coroner recorded a verdict of ‘unlawful killing’.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) initially said manslaughter charges could not be considered, however, following legal representations on behalf of Jack’s mother, Patricia Grayson, there have since been two CPS reviews of the case.
The latest led to confirmation that Greater Manchester Police has now been authorised to charge four men.
Paul Fogarty, 50, Brian Gartside, 59, Stephen Rowlands, 67, and Matthew Sellers, 29, who were staff members subcontracted by Metrolink at the time, are to be charged with unlawful act manslaughter.
Mr Rowlands is also to be charged with a single offence of perverting the course of justice relating to a witness statement.
Reacting to the news, Mrs Grayson said: “This demonstrates why you should never give up battling for what is right. It has taken two years of legal fighting for this.
“We were told on two occasions, before and then after the inquest into Jack’s death, that these men would not be facing criminal charges and that was something we could never understand or accept.
“We want to thank our legal team for not giving up on the case and for fighting to ensure the circumstances leading to Jack’s death will now come under the full scrutiny of the criminal courts, as always should have been the case.”
Solicitor Neil Hudgell, of Hudgell Solicitors, represents Mrs Grayson and added: “We are pleased that the CPS has eventually come to this decision with regards criminal charges being brought against these four men.
“It is something we have had to fight hard for over the past two years on behalf of Jack’s family, with two separate CPS reviews being conducted into the case over that time. We have believed all along that this case should reach the criminal courts for a trial to consider whether a crime was committed. It is the right decision.”