Robert Hart death: Plea over Parklife festival killer

Robert Hart Image copyright PA
Image caption There is a £23,000 reward for information on his killer

A mother will set an empty place around the table for her son on Christmas Day as the hunt for his killer continues.

Elaine Hart, 66, and her family will gather and raise a toast to her youngest son, Robert, who died after being punched in an unprovoked attack at this summer's Parklife music festival at Heaton Park in Manchester.

The 26-year-old, who worked for Barclay's Bank in Liverpool, died on 11 June, four days after the assault.

His killer is still at large.

Mrs Hart, from Bollington, Cheshire said: "We will set a place for Robert and we will raise a glass or two in his honour and remember him.

"But we'll never come to terms nor accept or even understand why, what was the reason?

Image copyright PA
Image caption His mother said it was an "absolutely pointless, unprovoked attack"

"That person out there will be having the same Christmas dinner with his family, friends, but he won't have anybody missing from his family.

"We can't go and buy Robert a present, because he's not here. And it will never be the same again, Christmas will never feel the same again."

Mrs Hart said her son loved music and in his student days at Liverpool University would travel abroad with a guitar strapped to his back.

He was enjoying the music festival with his girlfriend Gemma Parry when police believe a row escalated after he was hit on the back with an inflatable doll.

He was punched by his killer in the area to the right of the main stage at about 21:15 GMT in what his mother described as an "absolutely pointless, unprovoked attack".

Mrs Hart said though her son was loving life living in Liverpool he would always return home for Christmas holidays to be with his family - brother Richard, and sisters Rachel and Nicola, and his nieces and nephews.

She said: "We always stay together as a family at Christmas, we always enjoyed being together, every year that's what we did.

"This year... I'm not celebrating, I have nothing to celebrate.

'Heartbreaking ordeal'

"But he loved Christmas and he enjoyed being with his family and we will miss him so much, so very much."

Police have trawled through hundreds of photographs, as well as hundreds of hours of footage from mobile phones, drones and media cameras at the event.

And they have uncovered a photo believed to have been taken just minutes before the fatal assault - with his attacker just out of shot.

Police are offering a £23,000 reward for information, but his family is still seeking answers and hoping someone will come forward with a name.

Mrs Hart said: "Somebody, somebody knows who he is. He's spoken to somebody after the attack. Where did he go after the attack?

"Who took him home, where did he go that night? Who was he with?

"Did he boast about it in the pub what he'd done, did he feel big about it?"

She said: "There's nothing big about taking somebody's life - that's what he's done, he's taken my son's life."

Image copyright Greater Manchester Police
Image caption Robert Hart was at the festival with his girlfriend Gemma Parry

Mrs Hart's lawyer Charlotte Moore said: "All the family want now is for Robert's attacker to be brought to justice.

"There will be individuals out there who know who carried out the attack and who can help bring an end to the suffering Robert's family are going through by coming forward with this information.

"Please, I urge you to examine your conscience and contact the police and help bring closure in this heartbreaking ordeal for Robert's family."

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