Dad wrongly accused of killing son dies 3 days after woman jailed for the murder

A dad wrongly accused of killing his son has died three days after a girls’ football coach was jailed for the murder.

Scott Pritchard, 19, was viciously attacked with a baseball bat by Karen Tunmore outside his home in January 2004 and died in hospital.

His father Robert Stacey was charged with his murder and spent weeks on remand but the case was later dropped.

Tunmore, 36, handed herself in to police in July – 14 years after the murder – and was jailed for life on October 1.

She confessed that she bludgeoned Mr Pritchard to death after travelling to his Sunderland home to collect a £200 debt with an unnamed friend.

Mr Stacey, known as Fred, spent 16 weeks on remand before the Crown Prosecution Service said there was no "realistic chance" of a conviction and he was formally acquitted in 2005.

He had a heart attack the week before Tunmore, of Killingworth, was jailed for a minimum of 17 and half years.

He died on Thursday, three days after the sentencing.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Stacey had said people called him ‘murderer’ even after he was cleared.

He had been scared to walk around Sunderland city centre "for fear of being accused of a crime I did not commit".

Det Chief Insp John Bent, from Northumbria Police, said: "Our sincere condolences go to the family of Fred Stacey who are faced with the devastating news of his death just days after his son’s killer was brought to justice.

"We will continue to offer our support to them."

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