Mother of victim of brutal street attack angry after charges dropped

St Helens Star: Marie Robinson, pictured with Carl, fears no one will face prosecution for assaulting her son Marie Robinson, pictured with Carl, fears no one will face prosecution for assaulting her son

A MOTHER fears no members of a gang that battered her son with a house For Sale sign will be brought to justice after learning charges against two suspects have been dropped.

Carl Robinson, who has learning difficulties, was set upon earlier this year as he walked home from a house party where he had been celebrating his mother’s 40th birthday.

Up to five people were involved and some of them battered him around the head with the wooden sign during a savage, unprovoked attack, say police.

In the hours after the assault police arrested four suspects and following a five-month police investigation, detectives brought grievous bodily harm charges against two.

Bradley Knapper, of Gloucester Street, St Helens and Jack Swift, of Monmouth Grove, Parr – who were charged in connection with the incident – made an initial appearance before Liverpool Crown Court in October and were due to enter pleas in January.

But last week Carl, aged 19 at the time of the assault, received a letter from the Crown Prosecution Service informing him that the charges against Knapper, 18, and Swift, 19, were being dropped.

Liverpool Crown Court confirmed the case was discontinued on November 27.

According to Carl’s mother, Marie, the letter from the CPS suggested her son’s inability to identify his assailants or recall the role each played meant the evidence was not strong enough.

Carl, from Merton Bank, had been discovered lying covered in blood and with facial injuries after a resident called the police in the early hours of Sunday, April 6.

The former pupil at Lansbury Bridge in Parr was left with fractures to his jaw, nose and eye socket. He also had a blood clot to his ear.

Commenting on the CPS letter, Marie said: “It enraged me as in all of Carl’s interviews with the police he told them the same thing over and over, he was unconscious the majority of the time so therefore remembers very little.

“The law, it seems, is not to protect an innocent victim, but to protect the rights of the alleged offender.

“There have been so many gang assaults that have taken innocent lives, and when this happens it causes a public outcry of ‘how can we keep letting this happen’?

“Well this is how – by no-one facing trial for assaults just like this.

“In my opinion, it is sheer luck that my son is not one of the many deaths caused by gang assaults, and my fear now is that some other family will go through the same as we have, if not worse, at the hands of this gang.”

Marie has appealed against the CPS’s decision, and the result of a review of the case is expected next week.

The mother-of-three added: “All I can do until then is pray they make the right decision.”

In a statement Helen Graves, senior crown prosecutor with the Crown Prosecution Service, Mersey-Cheshire, said: “I have thoroughly reviewed the file of evidence in this case.

“Under the Code for Crown Prosecutors, to authorise a charge, I must be satisfied that there is enough evidence to provide a realistic prospect of a conviction.

“That test has not been met in this case and therefore, after careful consideration, I must conclude that no further action be taken unless any more evidence comes to light.

“The CPS operates a Victim’s Right to Review (VRR) scheme, under which victims are entitled to a review of their case if a Crown Prosecutor decides not to bring charges, discontinues proceedings or offers no evidence in a case.

“Carl Robinson’s family have requested that the decision in this case be reviewed under the scheme and the result of that review is awaited.”

Police confirmed that the other two who were arrested will face no further action.

Comments (3)

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9:34am Thu 12 Dec 13

Sankey says...

The legal system is heavily weighted against victims whilst no one wants an innocent person prosecuted in cases like this there should be more flexibility on circumstancal evidence. If you are unconscious when your assailant attacks you, you should not be penalised in the justice process.
The legal system is heavily weighted against victims whilst no one wants an innocent person prosecuted in cases like this there should be more flexibility on circumstancal evidence. If you are unconscious when your assailant attacks you, you should not be penalised in the justice process. Sankey

11:15am Thu 12 Dec 13

Durrell says...

This is appalling. If two members of a gang of five people cannot be identified then surely the whole gang should be charged? The other three are at least covering up for the guilty two. It's shocking that thugs can get away with such brutality, it's hardly surprising that the victim has little recollection of the events.
This is appalling. If two members of a gang of five people cannot be identified then surely the whole gang should be charged? The other three are at least covering up for the guilty two. It's shocking that thugs can get away with such brutality, it's hardly surprising that the victim has little recollection of the events. Durrell

9:37pm Thu 12 Dec 13

ste64 says...

What goes around comes around, these guys need to be took off the **** streets
What goes around comes around, these guys need to be took off the **** streets ste64

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