Grieving dad hoping for answers over son’s death

Alan Hay.
Alan Hay.

A GRIEVING dad who saw murder charges dropped against the man accused of killing his son is to quiz prosecutors about their dramatic decision.

David Howard was charged with the murder of Norman Hay but released last week after Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) lawyers ruled he acted in self defence and it wasn’t in the public interest to prosecute.

Alan Hay.

Alan Hay.

Mr Hay’s 67-year-old dad Alan is now desperate to find out exactly how his son died and was today due to meet with top lawyers in a bid to get answers.

Norman Hay, 38, had suffered stab wounds to his face on November 9, during an incident in St Bees Walk, in the Burbank area of Hartlepool, where Mr Howard lived.

Mr Howard, 39, was arrested shortly after Mr Norman was airlifted to hospital and spent two months on remand, charged with murder.

But that charge was withdrawn on Thursday, January 13, on the grounds of “self defence” by prosecutors.

Alan, of Baptist Street, Hartlepool, said: “I need answers, and I will keep putting pressure on those making these decisions until I get them.

“I’ve got a load of questions and I just want honest replies to them, nothing hidden and everything out in the open.

“But from what I have been told it is unlikely as they say some of the information about the case is confidential. It’s all too secretive.

“I’m not sure what I have to do to find out what happened to my son.

“He had cuts on his hands and was stabbed in the face and I’m being told it’s not in the public interest to prosecute anyone. What do you do?”

Alan, a dad-of-six and step-dad of four, is also hoping to get answers from an inquest into his son’s death that was opened and adjourned while the police investigation ran.

A notice of discontinuance has been issued to Hartlepool Police by the CPS so a full inquest is now expected to take place in the coming weeks, but a date has yet to be fixed.

Inquests are held to determine the medical cause and circumstances of a sudden or violent death.

Relatives can ask witnesses questions, either directly or by a lawyer representing them.

There is a possibility that Mr Howard will be called to give evidence as he was there when Norman suffered his fatal wounds.

The hearing will take place at Teesside Coroner’s Office as Mr Hay died in James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough.

Alan, a retired pipe fitter who is married to Muriel, 64, said: “I would want to see what the people who were there when Norman died have to say.

“The inquest is supposed to be a way to find out what happened, so we’ll see if that really happens.”

The CPS issued a statement when the charges against Mr Howard were dropped, which said: “We realise this is a distressing time for Mr Hay’s family and we will be offering to meet with them to explain the reasons for our decision.”

When asked about today’s meeting, a spokeswoman said: “It is not appropriate for us to comment on any proceedings taking place between ourselves and the victim’s family.”