‘We will continue our fight for justice for dad’

Frank Milligan's family near Lewes Crown Court after the sentencing yesterday (March 15, 2018) SUS-180316-145235001
Frank Milligan's family near Lewes Crown Court after the sentencing yesterday (March 15, 2018) SUS-180316-145235001

The family of Frank Milligan who tragically died after an altercation in Burgess Hill says they will ‘continue to fight for justice for dad’.

Mr Milligan, 63, collapsed and later died after a disturbance broke out at his family’s shop UpMarket 22, in Church Road, Burgess Hill, when John Venn, 20, Hayden Garrett, 21, and Joshua Hewes, 21, walked in uninvited.

The trio were sentenced to 12 months in prison at Lewes Crown Court last Thursday, after pleading guilty to affray.

They were originally charged with manslaughter but a medical report - which came in during the trial - showed no clear evidence that the altercation was the result of Mr Milligan’s death. In response, the Crown Prosecution Service dropped the manslaughter charges. After the sentencing, Mr Milligan’s daughter Natalie Cadman, 37, who was attacked during the incident, said: “They have shown no remorse for their actions and behaviour. How can we ensure that this does not happen again?

“The judge was very fair in his summing up, and what was respectful was although he found it very difficult to find the link between what had happened and dad’s death he was able to certainly keep the circumstances very much alive at the forefront of what he was considering when he was sentencing.

“I hope this sends out a clear message that something has got to change.”

Mr Milligan’s son Scott, 35, whose partner Darren Wynne, 38, was also attacked, said although his father collapsed and died after the altercation, the family ‘still held the men responsible’.

“We are hoping to try and go to an appeal to enforce the manslaughter charge for my father.

“Obviously they pleaded guilty and were sentenced by the judge for affray, so they are guilty for something.

“It wasn’t what we were expecting. We were built up to get nothing as we were told there was a possibility due to a change in charge that we weren’t going to get justice for my father, as well as the assault on my sister, my partner and my family.

“We will continue to fight for justice for dad and justice for my family to ensure that this will never happen again.”