…well, then it’s just time to give up!
Mihal Dobrev, 37, of East Hanningfield Road, Rettendon, was charged with murdering Denis Petkov just before midnight on Saturday, March 11. He had denied the charge at a previous court hearing.
However, the East of England Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) have offered no evidence against him ahead of a scheduled trial at Chelmsford Crown Court. It was due to begin today and last three weeks.
A spokesman said the service can “no longer proceed with the case” against Mr Dobrev.
Essex Police are not looking for anyone else in relation to the death of the Bulgarian teenager.
How very curious…
Jenny Hopkins, chief crown prosecutor for the region, said: “Mihal Dobrev was charged in March 2017 on the basis that there was a reasonable suspicion he had committed the offence and there were reasonable grounds for believing the continuing investigation would provide further evidence within a reasonable amount of time.
“In order to proceed, all cases have to meet the tests under the Code for Crown Prosecutors, namely that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and it is in the public interest to go ahead.
“The continuing investigation has not provided us with the necessary further evidence.
“We have therefore reviewed the case with senior police officers and independent counsel and CPS East of England has concluded there is insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction against Mr Dobrev.
“This decision means that the case cannot proceed and so we have offered no evidence against him.
“We extend our sympathies to the family of Mr Petkov.”
What could have lead to this decision?
The Echo can now reveal that the case collapsed because of doubts over the identity of the knifeman and questions about whether Denis’ killer acted in self-defence.
Well, well, well…
Police arrested Dobrev as well as men aged 21, 24, 42 and 30. All were Bulgarian Roma gypsies, whereas Denis was not.
The plot thickens!
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) consulted a top lawyer and was warned that Dobrev could blame the other man or claim self-defence, because witnesses said Denis was drunk, behaving aggressively and making derogatory comments about Roma.
So? Is that a defence to stabbing someone in the back? Isn’t it usual for murderers to claim this sort of thing at trial?
The Echo asked Essex Police why it took no action to publicise the decision or issue a new appeal until this newspaper contacted them on July 7, before the scheduled trial.
A spokesman said the CPS was the “lead agency” and as such Essex Police was “not allowed” to issue a statement.
We asked the CPS why it had not announced the decision. A spokesman said: “The media had not expressed any interest in this case with the CPS.”
I wonder if they’ll express some now? Will any MSM agency pick this up?