One of Cambridgeshire's oddest traditions gets under way this morning...
Man Found Not Guilty Of Killing Soldier
A man has been found not guilty of killing a Colchester based soldier on a night out.
Private Rory McWilliams, from 2nd Battalion the Parachute Regiment, suffered fatal head injuries when he was punched once during a fight in Northampton in the early hours of February 6.
Levy Chandler, of Pomfret Court, River View in Northampton, had denied his manslaughter and was cleared by a jury of seven women and four men, a Northampton Crown Court clerk confirmed.
Pte McWilliams was on a night out with his brother and a friend when the incident happened. It was his last weekend at home before he was due to deploy to Afghanistan.
His head hit the ground when he was knocked down in the 2am incident behind Domino's Pizza, in St Peters Way car park, Northampton, and suffered irreversible brain damage. He died in hospital on February 12.
During Chandler's trial, which started last Friday, the court heard that Pte McWilliams became involved in a scuffle with his ex-girlfriend's new partner, Glenn Thompson.
Chandler punched Pte McWillams once around the eye and nose area because he thought the argument would not stop, the court heard. The court also heard evidence from witnesses that father-of-one Pte McWilliams was the aggressor in the fight and had approached Mr Thompson in an aggressive manner.
Catherine Loughran, a friend of Mr Thompson, told the court she heard Pte McWilliams shout Mr Thompson's name before he came "storming over'' and grabbed him from behind.
She added: "I saw they were all standing together, it was very heated. They were all very close together, it was confrontational, and then I saw Levy punch Rory.''
Attempts were made by Pte McWilliams' 26-year-old brother Matthew and others to revive him before paramedics arrived and he was taken to hospital. The court heard that as a result of a fractured skull and brain damage, Pte McWilliams was unable to survive his injuries.
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