Wigan family's anger over death probe delays

Family of a Wigan man who died while under citizens' arrest have blasted police and prosecutors for failing to find any answers more than a year since the tragedy.

Thursday, 22nd November 2018, 7:43 am
Updated Thursday, 22nd November 2018, 8:45 am
Jordan Higham

Jordan Higham was just 25 when he collapsed and could not be revived following an incident on Nicol Mere Drive, Ashton, in the early hours of November 6, 2017.

The incident, in which Jordan was “detained” by members of the public who allegedly caught him breaking into cars, led to the arrests of two men aged 24 and 27.

Police were called to the scene at around 3.15am on the Monday morning to find him “unresponsive”.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Paramedics were called but the former Byrchall High School student was pronounced dead in hospital.

In the 12 months since his death, Jordan’s mum and stepdad, Rachel and Jim Kelsall, have been locked in a battle with police and prosecutors - who have not yet brought any charges against the suspects.

After being told earlier this year that there would be no charges, the pair sought legal advice and the investigation was reopened with an inquest planned for late October or early November.

But now, the heartbroken couple have been told they will have to wait until at least February as the file is still with the Crown Prosecution Service. The CPS told the Wigan Post today that it was still awaiting files from the police.

“It’s just disgusting,” said Rachel. “I sit an imagine that if I was an important person, this would not be happened.

“Hate speech crimes are being taken to court by the CPS. Speech? But not for taking a life?

“Jordan was physically weaker than one of the men and he was trying to go home, so how the hell have they got away with it? It’s sick.

“People are in prison for just harming burglars found in their home.”

The outraged couple have raised several concerns over the way they have been dealt with by police, who reportedly told them earlier this year that a file had gone to the CPS

However months later, in June, they received an email to say that a file had never been referred to the CPS and that the decision was made by the Senior Investigating Officer on the case.

Det Supt Joanne Rawlinson, of Greater Manchester Police, decided to re-open the case back in August, igniting new inquiries into the circumstances surrounding Jordan’s death.

However, despite this, the couple remain waiting for answers they expected to have by the end of September - a timeline given to them by police. Rachel added: “We are now frantically saving in case CPS do nothing and we have to carry on fighting for justice.

“Jim is starting work early and finished late. We’ve already paid one solicitor £2,500 for doing nothing as far as I’m concerned.

“It’s ridiculous. What a happy Christmas we will be having.”

A CPS spokesperson said: “Greater Manchester Police has referred a case to us following the death of Jordan Higham. Once the police has sent the full file of evidence to us, a reviewing lawyer will consider the material in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and decide whether there is sufficient evidence to charge anyone.”