NEWPORT KILLERS JAILED: Family hits out at charge change

South Wales Argus: MUCH-MISSED: Richard Carslake, who, his family say, was a loving brother and uncle and who contributed to society MUCH-MISSED: Richard Carslake, who, his family say, was a loving brother and uncle and who contributed to society

THE family of Mr Carslake issued a statement.

They said: “This truly hideous and unlawful act of violence has robbed our family of a loving brother and uncle and has robbed society in general of a hard working, friendly and kind man.

“Richard had a difficult childhood, being taken into the care system whereby his trusting nature was exploited.

However, he overcame this with support from close family and friends to go on to make a decent life for himself.

He always worked, even performing the jobs that some within society would consider demeaning, such as a kitchen hand.

“It is through this hard work the he has continuously contributed to society and the wider economy, yet these two so-called men have now forever denied him the chance of claiming a pension, growing old and enjoying his retirement as should be every hard working man’s right.

When we were taken to identify Richard’s body, his face was bloodied, bruised and swollen

Richard Carslake's family

“When we found out that Richard had been killed, we had just returned from Cornwall where we had sadly buried another brother – lost to cancer. If it were not enough for our poor mother to have already buried one son, this heinous act ensured that she outlived another of her children, which is against nature’s law.

“This proved to be too much for our mother and following Richard’s killing, she gave up, deteriorated medically and sadly passed away at the beginning of July.

Thus, although the family cannot deny nature in the death of our brother to cancer, we strongly feel that it is due to Richard’s killing by these two men that we then went on to lose our mother, meaning three family funerals within as many months.

“The huge sense of loss and anger we feel as a family has been compounded by our unfavourable experience of the criminal justice system.

In a meeting held with the CPS less than a few months ago, after repeatedly asking about the charge of manslaughter, we were assured this was not to be the case and told that ‘the only justice for Richard is with the charge of murder and if these two men serve a murder sentence.’ “However, just seven days before the trial was due to start, the CPS accepted a charge of manslaughter without any consultation or discussion with us. We were only informed of this decision after it had been accepted in court and, to our disgust, it was published on some media sites before even all of the family knew.

“In a letter received from the CPS offering an explanation as to the acceptance of the charge of manslaughter, it outlined that the injuries did not amount to GBH and none of them on their own were sufficient to cause Richard’s death.

“However, when we were taken to identify Richard’s body, his face was bloodied and severely bruised and his head considerably swollen. We disagree with the CPS letter and feel that the beating Richard was given resulted in significant injury and did cause his death.

“The thing that really compounded the family’s anxiety and distress in this situation is the fact that we know from seeing Richard’s body that his last minutes on this earth were filled with utter fear and terror of these men and knowing that he would die at their hand.

“To us, the fact that these two men have lied from the beginning leads us to believe that they have no respect for anyone or any remorse for their act.

“The whole case from the start has caused nothing but upset to the whole family with its twists and turns and yet another twist at what should have been the start of the trial leads us to fell that they are again laughing at the family by opting for manslaughter and a lesser sentence than they would have received for murder.”

CPS says move was ‘correct’

SIOBHAN Blake, deputy chief crown prosecutor for CPS Wales, said: “At a fairly late stage in proceedings, we were asked whether the prosecution would accept guilty pleas from the two defendants to the offence of manslaughter.

We had previously considered this possibility in consultation with the police investigative team, leading criminal barristers and pathologists.

“Unfortunately, due to the last minute nature of the defendants’ pleas, we were unable to notify the family of this development before having to inform the court.

“We subsequently sought to explain the decision-making process to the family by letter and in person, although we fully understand they may not be happy with the outcome. Nevertheless, we have to base our decisions on the evidence available and our view was, and remains, that accepting these pleas was the correct decision given the evidence and expert opinion available.

“We remain willing to meet with Richard’s family

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