'Why?' - Mum's emotional plea to killer 10 years on from Robert Hart's death after one-punch Parklife attack

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“For justice, if you know of this attacker, if you know his name, get in touch.”

The mum of a man who died after being punched by an unknown male assailant at Parklife has made an emotional appeal 10 years on from his death. 

Robert Hart was just 26 when he died from his injuries days after the attack at Heaton Park on Saturday, June 7, 2014. 

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“I look at Robert’s photograph every morning and kiss him good morning, and I look at Robert’s photograph every night,” said mum Elaine.  “I just exist. I have my three children and my grandchildren who help me enormously, but the loss of Robert and the unnecessary killing of Robert, that will stay with me and I will never ever be able to understand or come to terms with it.

“I’ve asked over the years - why? Why did you just not apologise? Why were you so aggressive and punched Robert so hard that you knocked him unconscious? Ten years on, people’s loyalties and relationships change. For justice, if you know of this attacker, if you know his name, get in touch with Greater Manchester Police and hopefully there will be a closure.

Robert Hart and his girlfriend Gemma at Parklife.Robert Hart and his girlfriend Gemma at Parklife.
Robert Hart and his girlfriend Gemma at Parklife. | GMP

“Robert went to Parklife to enjoy music – he had a love of music and enjoyed festivals. He went there to enjoy himself, he never returned, and he now lies in Macclesfield Cemetery. Robert was a devoted and adored son, brother and uncle and he was a true gentlemen and friend.” 

In addition to Elaine’s plea, Greater Manchester Police is offering a £50,000 reward with a major incident portal having been set up allowing members of the public to upload pictures and video. Shortly after 9pm on June 7, 2014 Robert, from Macclesfield and his girlfriend were stood in front of the main stage and were waiting for Snoop Dogg to come on, Rudimental had just finished their set. 

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Robert and his girlfriend were stood about halfway back from the stage, where a blow up doll was being passed about above the crowd. This hit Robert’s girlfriend in the face, covering her in dirt. An altercation then broke out which resulted in Robert being punched and losing consciousness. CPR was performed on Robert and he did regain consciousness and he was helped to his feet and assisted away from where the attack happened. The injuries which Robert sustained as result of this attack were far worse than first anticipated and he died on June 11 in hospital. 

It is believed that the person responsible for this attack then left the scene and may not have realised at the time the fatal impact that his actions had. Robert’s attacker, who has never been identified, is described as mixed race, in his mid-20s, around 6ft to 6ft 2in tall, muscular build with short, dark hair which was shaved at the sides. He may have been with several people and it is believed he was with an unknown woman – she has been described as white, in her mid-20s with blonde, shoulder-length hair, around 5ft 7ins tall and possibly wearing a pink T-shirt.

The area circled in red is where the attack on Robert Hart took placeThe area circled in red is where the attack on Robert Hart took place
The area circled in red is where the attack on Robert Hart took place | GMP

Detective Inspector Madeline Kelly, from GMP’s Major Crime Review Unit, said: “Even though this terrible incident was almost 10 years ago, it will still be fresh in the minds of many people, especially Robert’s family and people who were at Parklife. Despite the passing of time, the heartache felt by Robert’s family has not faded.

“We are appealing for people to dig deep into their consciences – if you were one of the people involved on the day we would urge you to come forward.  We are hopeful that the passage of time may mean that those who didn’t feel comfortable coming forward in 2014 may now feel brave enough to do so. If you witnessed the attack, or if someone confided in you since about what happened we want to hear for you.

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“I am also asking for people who may have been stood in the crowd, near to where I described to share their photos and videos. people who were around the main stage at around 9pm just after Rudimental had finished their set and before Snoop Dogg was due on.

“Robert’s family have had to live without answers for 10 years now, and we need the person responsible or anyone who knows him, to come forward and give us information. No detail is too small."

Investigators' have set up a Major Incident Public Portal where photos and videos can be uploaded. Information can also be sent via a dedicated email address [email protected]. If someone does not feel comfortable to make direct contact with the police, we would encourage them to contact us via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.