Prosecutors today revealed why they had dropped harassment cases against two Blackpool fans accused of abusing Pool chairman Karl Oyston.
David Ragozzino, 34, of Oakwood Close, Marton and Stephen Reed, 58, of Common Edge Road, Marton (pictured) were accused of sending Oyston numerous offensive texts between April and July last year.
They were also accused of preparing an offensive e-mail to be sent to Oyston’s wife, Victoria. But, as revealed in The Gazette yesterday, Lancashire Police said the charges had been dropped following a ‘recent review of the evidence by the Crown Prosecution Service’.
Today, a spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service – which decides whether to go ahead with trials based on the likelihood of conviction – said: “All cases are subject to continuous review by the CPS.
“After receiving further information from the police we have conducted a review of all the evidence in the case and have concluded that there is no longer a realistic prospect of conviction against either defendant for a charge of harassment and have therefore taken the decision to discontinue the case.”
The decision follows evidence heard during the trial of Blackpool supporter Mark Rushton in which police Sgt Greg Laidlaw, under oath, said he twice had to tell chairman Karl Oyston to keep away from the windows and stop what he called ‘beckoning and enticing’ the fans outside during a protest by Pool fans during last season’s abandoned game against Huddersfield.
Rushton, 25, of Riversway, Marton, was jailed for 26 weeks after he had been found guilty of threatening behaviour which put people in fear of their safety. The sentence was later reduced.
Civil court action by Karl Oyston against both Ragozzino and Reed is ongoing.