Family's emotional appeal to trace Robert Hart's Parklife festival killer

Family's emotional appeal to trace Robert Hart's Parklife festival killer

Robert’s sister Rachel North, mum Elaine Hart and brother Richard Hart

Robert Hart, who died after being hit at the Parklife festival

First published in News
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This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

THE family of a man who died after he was attacked at Parklife have made an emotional appeal to track down his killer.

The appeal comes as organisers of the Parklife Weekender offer a £20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the man responsible for the death of Robert Hart.

Robert Hart died in hospital last Wednesday after being brutally attacked at the music festival on Saturday, June 7.

His mother Elaine, girlfriend Gemma Parry, brother Richard and sisters Rachel and Nicola fought back tears on Monday as they appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

At a press conference, Richard, aged 30, said: “We are here to appeal directly to the person who has stolen Robert away from us, or to the people who know this man, and are prot- ecting him with their silence.

“He was an absolutely brilliant brother, and one cowardly act has taken that away from my whole family and all our friends.”

Robert, aged 26, from Macclesfield, had been dancing with Gemma in front of the main stage at about 9.15pm when he was attacked and punched — once in the head, and possibly a second time in the chest.

It is believed Robert was attacked after being involved in a row when Gemma was struck with an inflatable doll.

Police have issued an e-fit of the man, and described him as a mixed race male, aged in his late 20s, about 6ft 1in tall, with a muscular build and short dark hair shaved at the sides.

He was also wearing shorts and a blue, bomber-style jacket with the letter A in white on the front.

In an emotional tribute to her son, Mrs Hart, aged 65, read out the message which Robert had written for her in his Mother’s Day card.

The card read: “To Mummy, wishing you all the love in the world on Mother’s Day, thanks for always being there, being an endless source of advice and love, and always being a fantastic chef, Robert.”

She added: “I have lost my son, who I absolutely adored. He was my friend, he would come home and he would put me in his arms. He made me smile, and I looked forward to him coming home.”

Richard, who described telling his eight-year-old son about the death of his uncle as “one of the hardest things I have ever had to do”, said Robert had plans to start a family of his own.

He said: “Robert and Gemma had talked about having a family of their own, and he would have been an absolutely brilliant dad.

“He was an improvement of me, and my son is just going to be an improvement of him. He would have been a fantastic father.”

Richard urged members of the public who may have seen the altercation with the inflatable doll, or have pictures or videos on their phone, to assist the police with their investigations.

He added: “I urge people to come forward. Anybody who was there and saw anything that brings this man to justice.

“That person really doesn’t know how much effect he will have had on all our lives, and everybody Bobby knew.

“Please do not protect this person. He doesn’t have a right to be protected — it was wrong. Please do the right thing for Robert’s sake.

“Music festivals are supposed to be about fun and laughter, and the memories you share with people, and the memories you take with you.

“It is certainly not the place for an act of violence like this.”

A statement on the Parklife Weekender’s Facebook page re-iterated the family’s appeal for information. It stated: “We are absolutely devastated about the shocking incident that took place, and the loss of life that occurred.

“All our thoughts remain with Robert Hart’s family and friends. We can’t even begin to process what they are currently going through.”

It continued: “We have handed over thousands of images taken by our team, all the CCTV and hours of footage taken by our film crew and drones in an effort to find who is responsible for the loss of Robert’s life.

Detective Inspector Richard Eales, of Greater Manchester Police, said: “We want to speak to anyone who remembers seeing this inflatable doll and the attack which followed.

“Robert’s family have said he was a loving and caring man. They are in utter shock and we have specially trained officers supporting them.”

Anyone with information can contact the police incident room on 0161 856 9283 or email the incident room on mit.syndicate8@gmp.police.uk with any relevant footage.

People can also contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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