Her face etched by grief, a devastated mother urged her son’s killer to give himself up after he was beaten to death at Parklife music festival.
Robert Hart, 26, suffered fatal head injuries after being attacked in front of his girlfriend as they danced in front of the main stage at the Parklife Weekender Festival in Manchester.
It is believed Robert, a customer services advisor for a high street bank, was punched to the floor and knocked unconscious as he stepped in to protect Gemma Parry, who was hit in the back with an inflatable doll which had been kicked into the crowd.
Two off-duty medics who were also at the event rushed to his aid and gave Robert CPR before he was rushed to hospital. He died four days later in hospital after suffering a bleed to the brain.
The attack took place as 67,000 people converged on Heaton Park to see rap star Snoop Dogg perform live.
Today, Robert’s mother Elaine, 65, from Rainow, near Macclesfield, Cheshire, appealed for her son’s killer to come forward.
DEVASTATED: Gemma said the pair planned to start a family together
Mrs Hart said: “I have lost my son who I absolutely adored, as I do all of my children.
“He would come home and hug me and as he got older he got taller and taller and made me feel small. I just looked forward to him coming home so much.
“He would sometimes call me Elaine or mum but quite often he would still say mummy.
”He was the kindest, warmest, and funniest man and not aggressive and we all adored him. This person has took that all away from us. They know they have done it.”
Acccompanied by her family and Miss Parry, Mrs Hart broke down in tears as as she read a Mother’s Day card the victim had written to her last March.
“To mummy. Wishing you all the love in the world on Mother’s Day,” she said.
“Thanks for always being there and being an endless source of advice and love and for being a fantastic chef. Lots of love, Robert.”
Keen guitarist and Manchester City fan Robert, originally from Macclesfield, lived in Liverpool with Gemma after attending university in the city.
The pair were said to be planning to start a family together.
Robert’s brother, Richard, said: “A music festival is supposed to be about fun and laughter and memories to share. It’s not a place for any act of violence like this. Bobby was a brilliant brother and one cowardly act has took him away from all of our family and friends.
“Bobby would ring any member of my family whether it was raining or snowing and he would say ‘what a brilliant day to be alive’. One person’s actions have changed that. Those words will now never be spoken.
MUSIC LOVER: Robert had attended Parklife on other occasions
“There was one word that every single one of us – friends and family – used: awesome. He was just awesome to be around and to spend time with. We have all been robbed of his life. Nothing will be the same.
“When you have to tell an eight-year-old boy who Bobby doted on, my son, that you can’t see him anymore it is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. He was a people person. He has had a massive influence on everybody’s life.
“I will turn my son into him because that’s what Bobby would have pushed for.”
Robert’s mum and brother made the plea for his killer to turn himself in alongside his sisters Nicola, 35, Rachel North, 38, and girlfriend Gemma, 32.
Gemma said: “He would always try to protect me. He was so looking forward to the festival and excited, he couldn’t wait.”
The incident occurred on Saturday, June 7 after Mr Hart went to meet friends in Miles Platting before making his way to the festival which was attended by a total of 120,000 people over the two days.
He and Gemma were waiting for Snoop Dogg to come on stage at 9.15pm when the sex aide was thrown into the crowd and it struck Gemma in the back.
A barman said: “The inflatable toy was full of mud and Robert turned with a bit of a scowl but he then put his hand up to say he did not want trouble. The other guy punched him once and he fell to the floor and I heard a thud.
DEVOTED: Robert died trying to protect his girlfriend
“It was horrible. His girlfriend was screaming and people were waving for help.
“Some of the crowd helped him and gave him chest compressions and then security turned up. When they picked him up you could see he was all over the place and his eyes were not right.
“I just knew it was something serious but never thought it would be this bad.”
Mr Hart was initially taken to a medical tent by security officers being rushed to North Manchester General Hospital.
His condition deteriorated and was later transferred to Hope Hospital in Salford where he died on Wednesday June 11.
Detective Inspector Richard Eales of Greater Manchester Police said: “Our immediate thoughts go out to Robert’s family and loved ones. We currently have specially trained officers with them to help through this terrible time.
“‘We believe a confrontation took place following an inflatable doll hitting Robert’s girlfriend.
“We are aware other assaults took place in the park that evening, but I am specifically appealing for witnesses who recall seeing the inflatable doll and the attack on Robert immediately thereafter.
DO YOU RECOGNISE THIS MAN? Police are appealing for witnesses
“I am keen for those witnesses to come forward and other persons nearby who may have mobile phone footage of the attack or captured an image of the person responsible.
“Finally, if you are the man responsible or were with him that evening, please come forward.”
Police said the attacker is described as mixed race, aged in his late 20’s and around 6ft 1 tall.
He was muscular with short, dark hair shaved at the sides. He was also wearing shorts and a blue, bomber-style jacket with the letter ‘A’ in white on the front.
A spokeswoman for Parklife said: “We pride ourselves on a history of Parklife Weekender without any incidents.
”We regret that an isolated incident has taken place at this year’s event. However, medics were on the scene within minutes of it taking place. We urge festival-goers to help the police identify the individual involved and contact them if they have any information at all.”
The incident was one of several violent flare ups which erupted at the festival.
One 17-year-old boy needed 100 stitches after he was slashed across the face in an ‘unprovoked’ attack in front of the main stage on the same night as the assault on Mr Hart.
Another man was slashed in the neck and one picture appeared on Twitter apparently showing another beating at the festival which was unconnected to the death of Mr Hart.
Police made more than 20 arrests during the course of the weekend.
Images courtesy of Facebook, with thanks.