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Statement: Anthony Owen

07/08/2012

Rachael Barber, Senior Crown Prosecutor, CPS Mersey-Cheshire, said: "After very careful consideration of all the evidence in this case, including new evidence which has recently been presented, I have decided not to continue the case against a seventeen-year-old youth in connection with the death of Anthony Owen.

"The youth was originally charged with manslaughter on the basis that there was a reasonable suspicion he had committed the offence and there were grounds for believing that the continuing investigation would provide further evidence to support the prosecution.

"Since then new evidence has been presented, including the final pathologists report which indicates that the injuries to the victim were consistent with the victim suffering one blow to the face.

"The pathologists report provides supporting evidence for the defendants version of events: that he was acting in self defence.

"This expected further evidence has not provided us with a stronger case to meet the test of sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction. Crown Prosecutors are required to keep all cases under continuous review.  Where the realistic prospect of conviction test is not met a case must not go ahead no matter how serious it is.

"After careful consideration of all the evidence including the pathology report and the fact that there are no independent witnesses, we have decided that we would not be able in court to rebut the defendants claim that he was acting in self-defence.

"In addition, we took into account that he had come forward voluntarily to give his account and that he has no previous convictions. We have therefore concluded there is no realistic prospect of conviction in this case and have formally offered no evidence against the defendant.

"We understand that this decision is difficult for Mr Owen's family, friends and members of the community to understand. We have met with Mr Owen's family to explain our decision to them in person.

"Two other youths who were at the scene at the time were released without charge as there was no evidence that implicated either of them."

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