Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Mum's Anger over 'No Trial' of Man Accused Killing Her Son

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Mum's Anger over 'No Trial' of Man Accused Killing Her Son

Article excerpt

Byline: Laura Foad Reporter

A HEARTBROKEN mum who saw the man accused of stabbing her son walk free has backed a fresh call that the case should have gone to trial.

Dad-of-one Andrew Hopkins, 28, died of stab wounds in October 2013.

William Tomlin, 42, appeared in court accused of murdering Mr Hopkins, but was released after the murder charge was dropped.

But at the inquest into Mr Hopkins' death, coroner Malcolm Donnelly criticised the decision to end criminal proceedings.

He said: "My personal view and I think that it's a view which is shared by the police officer who has given evidence, is that the evidence in this particular case should have been put to a jury."

Talking about the difference in opinion of the two forensic pathologists, he later said: "The doubt between two highly qualified forensic pathologists is all the more reason, in my view, why such issues should be left to a jury in a prosecution."

Mr Hopkins' mum, Patricia Connor from Brambles Farm, Middlesbrough said: "It was bad enough when they let Tomlin go but when we heard what the coroner said, it was a kick in the teeth.

"I have been saying since it happened, that a jury should decide whether it was self-defence or not and this just confirms it.

"I used to have the highest respect for the police but it has now gone.

"The law is meant to be there to protect you and your family and for justice to be served, but we have experienced first hand that it is not the case.

"I am always reading about families who are appealing sentences but at least they got a trial - we have had nothing."

Mr Hopkins was found with stab wounds at Teesside Lodge on Marton Road, in the early hours of October 6, 2013.

He was taken to Middlesbrough's James Cook University Hospital but died from his injuries. …

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