THE family of Ryan Passey who was stabbed to death in a Stourbridge nightspot have welcomed the news West Yorkshire Police are to carry out a review of the case.

Campaigners fighting for justice for Ryan, who was just 24 when he was knifed in the heart in Chicago's in The Ryemarket in August 2017, have long been calling for a review of the case.

Heartbroken relatives say they have been left with many unanswered questions regarding the original police investigation carried out by West Midlands Police - since murder accused Kobe Murray walked free from court, after a trial at Birmingham Crown Court in February 2018, having been acquitted of both murder and manslaughter charges.

The family of popular Wren's Nest FC footballer and window cleaner Ryan, from Quarry Bank, described the verdict as 'perverse' as Murray, from Dudley, who was 19 at the time of the fatal stabbing, admitted he had 'stabbed out' out when trouble flared in the club but claimed he had acted in self-defence.

Determined to leave no stone unturned in their campaign for justice, the family pursued a civil claim against Murray, now going by the name of Kareem Gayle, and Liverpool Civil and Family Court recently awarded £10,000 in damages to Ryan's relatives and Murray was left with a £12,000 bill for costs after the family made an application under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976, which offers the right to seek damages for a death caused by a wrongful act, neglect or default.

As well as the civil action, the family had also been calling for an independent review of the case to help address concerns and questions they have had about how evidence was gathered, and it has now been confirmed that West Yorkshire Police will undertake this review.

Following a meeting with West Midlands Police this week, family friend and spokesman for the Justice for Ryan campaign, Jason Connon, said: "The meeting was more productive within the first five minutes than many that we have experienced in nearly five years. We were frank about our experiences with WMP and asked that the transparent dialogue we held at our meeting now continues. Everyone was in total agreement that something went seriously wrong following the acquittal verdict.

"We are pleased they have finally sorted a new police force to conduct the independent review we have been asking for many months.

"We now look forward to meeting with West Yorkshire Police and moving our campaign for justice forward."

Stourbridge MP Suzanne Webb, who has been backing the family's fight for justice, said the meeting with West Midlands Police had been "really positive" and she added: "I made it clear in the meeting that WMP and West Yorkshire Police need to be transparent with Ryan’s family about what is happening at every turn. That means regular updates and meetings to discuss progress.

"The family is also working with a private investigator and it’s important the review looks into the original investigation but it also touches on any new evidence that could lead to a conviction for this terrible crime.

"This has already been a long journey for this courageous family but I think we finally have the nuts and bolts of a proper examination into what went wrong in the investigation, and the chance to finally obtain justice for Ryan."

West Midlands Police said they were pleased to inform Ryan's family that West Yorkshire Police would carry out the independent review and a spokesman added: "We will continue to keep Ryan's family updated."