THE father of a 13-year-old boy who was stabbed in the street has spoken of his anger after the man facing trial for the attack was discovered dead in his cell.
Richard Walsh, 43, was accused of stabbing two boys, aged 12 and 13, in Southleigh Road, Havant, on June 26.
Walsh, of no fixed abode, was facing trial for the attempted murder of the boys and was due to appear at Portsmouth Crown Court today (July 20), while also facing charges of assault and robbing a bicycle.
However, staff at HMP Belmarsh, in south-east London, found Walsh unresponsive in his cell yesterday morning (July 19) and despite efforts to revive him, he was pronounced dead shortly after 11am.
In an interview with the Observer’s sister paper the The News, the father of the teenage victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said: “I can’t say I’m upset – it’s more anger and frustration at what’s happened.
“It feels like we’ve been denied our chance for justice.
“I was told it had happened by Hampshire police and it’s very hard to deal with.
“I’d have liked him to face trial. I can’t understand how it happened. He should be facing justice but now we are not going to see that happen.”
The two boys, who also cannot be named for legal reasons, were described as being in a serious but stable condition by police after the attacks.
The 13-year-old boy was flown by air ambulance to Southampton General Hospital with serious injuries and he received surgery to save his life.
The 12-year-old was taken by road ambulance to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham and then moved to Southampton General Hospital.
The dad said: “My son only came out on hospital on Friday afternoon. He still can’t walk and doctors say he has a long way to go.
“It’s had a tough impact on us all. We will try to get him right but even if he does make a recovery physically, there is what is left emotionally.
“I don’t want him going out to play and looking over his shoulder but that’s what I’m afraid will be the case.
“It’s very difficult to take that he’s not going to get justice for what he’s been through.”
A prison service spokeswoman said: “HMP Belmarsh prisoner Richard Walsh was found unresponsive in his cell on Sunday, July 19.
“Staff attempted CPR but paramedics pronounced him dead at 11.07am.
“As with all deaths in custody there will be an investigation by the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman.”