23 December 2014
Mother’s Appeal for Son’s Killer
A mother from Cheshire will set an empty place around the table for her son on Christmas Day, as the hunt for his killer continues.
Elaine Hart, 66, and her heart-broken family will gather and raise a toast to her youngest boy, Robert, 26, who died after being punched in an unprovoked attack at this summer's Parklife music festival in Manchester.
Mr Hart, who worked for Barclay's Bank in Liverpool, died on June 11, four days after the assault which left him fighting for life with a bleed on the brain. His killer is still at large.
Mrs Hart, from Bollington said, "We will set a place for Robert and we will raise a glass or two in his honour and remember him. But we'll never come to terms nor accept or even understand why, what was the reason?
"That person out there will be having the same Christmas dinner with his family, friends, but he won't have anybody missing from his family. He will be celebrating but we won't. We can't go and buy Robert a present, because he's not here. Christmas will never feel the same again. Every day, every single day I cannot believe that my Robert is not here."
Mrs Hart said her son loved music and in his carefree student days at Liverpool University, would travel abroad with a guitar strapped to his back. He was enjoying the music festival until he stepped in to protect his girlfriend Gemma Parry who was repeatedly hit with an inflatable toy in the huge crowd at the Parklife event at Heaton Park.
He was punched by his killer in the area to the right of the main stage, at around 9.15pm on June 7, in what his mother described as an "absolutely pointless, unprovoked attack."
Mrs Hart said though her son was loving life living in Liverpool city centre he would always return home for the Christmas holidays to be with his family; brother Richard, and sisters Rachel and Nicola, and his nieces and nephews.
Mrs Hart said, "We always stay together as a family at Christmas, we always enjoyed being together, every year that's what we did. This year I'm not celebrating, I have nothing to celebrate. But he loved Christmas and he enjoyed being with his family and we will miss him so much, so very much."
Police have trawled through hundreds of photographs, as well as hundreds of hours of footage from mobile phones, drones and media cameras at the event. And they have uncovered a photo believed to have been taken just minutes before the fatal assault, with Robert's attacker frustratingly just out of shot.
A £23,000 reward for information is also being offered, but while the police investigation continues Robert Hart's family is still seeking answers and hoping someone will come forward with a name.
Mrs Hart added, "Somebody, somebody knows who he is. He's spoken to somebody after the attack. Where did he go after the attack? Who took him home, where did he go that night? Who was he with?
"When he went into work, if he did work, did he talk to his colleagues? Did he boast about it in the pub what he'd done, did he feel big about it? There's nothing big about taking somebody's life, that's what he's done, he's taken my son's life."
Slater and Gordon Lawyer Charlotte Moore, who is representing Mrs Hart said, "This has been a devastating time for the Hart family which will become even more difficult as we move into the first festive period without Robert.
"All they want now is for Robert's attacker to be brought to justice. There will be individuals out there who know who carried out the attack and who can help bring an end to the suffering Robert's family are going through by coming forward with this information.
"Please, I urge anyone with any information to contact the police and help bring closure in this heart-breaking ordeal for Robert's family. Anyone with any details at all can contact the incident room direct on 0161 856 9283 or email the incident room on firstname.lastname@example.org with any relevant footage.
Alternatively you can call police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Slater and Gordon Lawyer Charlotte Moore can be reached by calling freephone 0808 175 8105 or via email.
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