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Fresh hope in justice for Julian

JULIAN WEBSTER: He died after being held around the neck by nightclub security staff

THE FAMILY of a Birmingham man, who died after being restrained by doormen outside a wine bar in April 2009, has won the right to challenge the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) not to prosecute anyone.

Julian Webster, 24, reportedly died after being held around the neck by security staff outside the Pitcher & Piano Bar in Manchester as he returned after closing time to retrieve his mobile phone.

Arrests were initially made on suspicion of manslaughter but no charges were brought. In May 2012 a jury at an inquest into Julian’s death in Manchester ruled that the restraint technique, which included a chin-lock, played ‘a significant role’ in his death.

This news has given fresh hope in their long campaign to seek justice for their son.

PROGRESS

Julian’s mum Sonia said: “I am pleased because at last we are moving in the right direction and the outlook is a lot more positive. This has been a long time coming but we hope to make genuine progress in the New Year.

“These past four years have been filled with such stress and pain but now I feel there is a light at the end of the tunnel. My son went out for a night with his friends and never came home. Someone is responsible and I want justice for Julian.”

fairness
Veteran civil rights campaigner, Maxie Hayles, who chairs the Justice for Julian Campaign, added: “It sadly remains the case that yet again another black family has to take on the establishment to get a fair hearing and justice, but we are all encouraged by this new development.

“Julian was a fit young man who lost his life in mysterious circumstances and no-one has yet been held to account for his death, despite the inquest returning a damning narrative verdict.”

Community activist Desmond Jaddoo, who spearheaded an online petition putting pressure on Home Secretary Theresa May to intervene in the case, said: “The family still have a long, hard fight on their hands but at least this means that a member of the judiciary has actually said that all is not right in the decision making process of the CPS and needs to be re-examined.”

JUSTICE

He added: “The family have told me they feel let down by their local councillors and MPs here in Birmingham. It’s time the whole community rallied behind this family and let’s finally see them getting justice for their son.”

Jaddoo said the online petition was being re-energised, receiving more than 100 names within a six-hour period.
Earlier this year the Webster family held a memorial day to celebrate Julian’s life at Cannon Street Memorial Baptist Church in Handsworth, followed by a headstone laying ceremony at Julian’s grave.

In the evening they held a gala celebration and dinner to honour Julian’s life at The Cap Centre in Smethwick.
There are also plans to organise an annual memorial lecture to be held at the University of Birmingham’s new Centre for Research in Race and Education.

Julian’s aunt, Carmen McFarlane, who flew in from Jamaica to attend the Memorial Day, said: “Justice is a hard thing to fight for. It took Doreen Lawrence 20 years. We have only done four so far, but we will never give up.”

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