Saturday 27 December 2014

Woman may have filmed festival death attack on mobile phone

Kate Ferguson

Published 01/08/2014 | 20:20

Police handout photo of a woman they believe might have filmed the man who killed a Robert Hart at the Parklife music festival
Police handout photo of a woman they believe might have filmed the man who killed a Robert Hart at the Parklife music festival
Police handout photo of a festival-goer that police would like to speak in connection with the death of Robert Hart at the Parklife music festival
Police handout photo of a festival-goer that police would like to speak in connection with the death of Robert Hart at the Parklife music festival
Police handout photo of a festival-goer that police would like to speak in connection with the death of Robert Hart at the Parklife music festival

Police have released a picture of a woman they believe might have filmed the man who killed a reveller at a festival.

Robert Hart died five days after he was punched at the Parklife music festival after he tried to stop his girlfriend Gemma being repeatedly hit by a blow-up doll.

The 26-year-old, from Macclesfield, Cheshire, fell to the ground unconscious after the attack, which happened just before rap star Snoop Dogg was due to take to the stage at the Manchester festival.

Detective are trying to track down a woman wearing a flat cap and seen holding up an orange mobile phone which they believe may have caught the attacker on camera.

They have also released pictures of three other festival-goers they want to speak to.

The appeal comes after Crimewatch featured pictures of 12 possible witnesses who officers believed could hold vital information about the killing.

Eight have been traced, but police are still trying to track down the other four - including the woman filming.

Detective Chief Inspector Phil Reade, from Greater Manchester Police (GMP), said: "Our trained officers have examined a huge amount of pictures and video footage sent in by festival goers and have determined that this woman may well be of assistance to our investigation.

"The time at which she was photographed, the area she was stood, the direction she was facing and the fact she seems to be taking a video or pictures of the area where Robert was standing all suggest that she may well have captured a picture of the man responsible or the people he was with.

"Obviously, obtaining evidence such as that would represent a big step forward in this investigation and take us closer to catching the man responsible for this attack.

"I would urge her, or indeed any of the other three people pictured, to come forward and speak to us as soon as possible."

He said even a small nugget of information could be the key to solving the crime.

He said: "One thing we have learned from speaking to the other eight witnesses is that any small piece of information could potentially prove useful to police.

"One of those witnesses did not come forward initially as they believed that they would not be able to provide anything new to the investigation, which was simply not the case.

"Their witness statements provided new details that were previously unknown to officers, which proves that no piece of information is too small and that it is vital for witnesses to come forward should they think they know anything at all about the attack."

Robert Hart's girlfriend, Gemma Parry made a renewed, heartfelt plea for anyone who saw the attack to come forward.

She said: "Despite the best efforts of GMP officers, Rob's family and myself to persuade him to do so, it is becoming less and less likely that the man responsible for his death is going to come forward of his own accord.

"That makes these potential witnesses all the more important, as they may well hold the key for police to track down the man who took Rob away from me, from his mother, brother, sisters, nieces and nephews.

"I am now speaking to the woman pictured in the flat cap, or any of the other witnesses officers want to speak to, please contact police.

"Imagine if it was your husband, your boyfriend, your brother or son, try to imagine our suffering, knowing that the man that stole our beautiful Rob away from us may never be brought to justice. You can make a difference.

"You might be able to help provide us with the closure we so desperately need, that Rob so desperately deserves. Please."

Mr Hart died on June 1 after suffering a bleed on the brain.

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