The father of a young man stabbed to death in a nightclub has hit out at the sale of “Rambo-style” knives in the shop that sold the weapon that killed him.
Ryan Passey, 24, suffered a fatal stab wound to the chest while out with friends in Stourbridge, West Midlands, in August 2017.
His family want more to be done to prevent the sale of deadly weapons and have turned their attention to the shop where the man who went on trial for the killing said the knife that killed Mr Passey was bought.
The shop, DAI Leisure in Dudley, sells items that include a “Rambo First Blood” knife with an 11-inch blade, at £59.95, an “Elite Force” large machete with a 17-inch blade, costing £39.95, and a “Walther Machtac 2” machete with a serrated edge and holes in the 15-inch blade, costing £69.95.
Earlier this year, the government unveiled legislation to ban the sale of machetes and tighten up the definition of the already-banned zombie knives – but it has not yet been heard by parliament, and the sale of the knives and machetes by DAI Leisure is legal.
Mr Passey’s father Ade told The Independent: “It saddens us all that the shop where the knife was purchased that killed our Ryan still continues to sell dangerous knives, machetes and swords.
“More than six years on from Ryan’s death the store continues to sell these items,” he said, before adding that in his opinion he thought it was “morally completely wrong”.
On the new legislation banning the sale of dangerous knives, Mr Passey’s father said the family welcomed the move as a “step in the right direction”, but added it did not go far enough.
Under the new measures, the Home Office’s definition of a zombie-style knife will be any bladed weapon over eight inches in length with a plain cutting edge and sharp pointed end that also has either a serrated cutting edge, more than one hole in the blade, or multiple sharp points like spikes.
But the 60-year-old said: “The knife that was purchased and killed Ryan was approximately 7.5 inches long and would not be covered under the current plans. Knives are devastating communities and lives, and we must do more to get all knives off our streets.”
Elliot Lane, from DAI Leisure, confirmed the knife linked to Mr Passey’s death was purchased from the store. When asked if the shop was concerned sold knives would be used for crime, he said: “DAI Leisure share the public’s concerns over any of the products we sell being used for criminal activity.”
Mr Lane said most of the products sold were age-restricted and that the store had a “Challenge 25” policy where anyone looking under the age of 25 would be required to prove they were aged 18 or over. On deliveries, he said the store’s own delivery driver checked ID, or when they used FedEx there would be an adult signature required.
He added: “As a legitimate business that’s been trading since the 1970s, we have always and will always abide by Home Office legislation and laws.”
Six years after his death, Mr Passey’s family is still fighting for justice.
Kobe Murray, 19, was found not guilty of his murder and manslaughter at a trial in 2018, after testifying that he stabbed Mr Passey by accident. Two years ago the family won almost £10,000 in damages in a civil case against Mr Murray.
West Midlands Police relaunched its murder investigation in July this year.
A spokesperson said there were no new updates on the investigation to share at this time, but did comment on the sale of knives in the region.
Supt Gareth Morris, who leads the force’s knife crime response, said: “Every incident of knife crime is one too many and we are taking a strong stance to tackle this as we understand the devastating impacts of serious youth violence on communities.
“We review those who sell weapons that are involved in crime and work with the Home Office and national partners around control and helping to influence future legislation to prevent deadly weapons falling into the wrong hands.”
This article was amended on 7 November 2023. It prevously inaccurately stated that the knife used to kill Mr Passey was a flick knife, but this was not the case.