Fri, 30 Sep 2011
A paratrooper started the fight in Northampton which resulted in him being fatally injured, a court has been told.
Pte Rory McWilliams, 20, of Northampton, died six days after being punched and hitting his head on the ground after a night out on 6 February.
Levy Chandler, of Pomfret Court, River View in Northampton, had denied his manslaughter and was today 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.
He did not think the punch was particularly hard, nor did he think it was enough to knock Pte McWilliams to the ground.
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.
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