‘Suicide’ soldier not quizzed in barracks death

West Mercia Police/PA Wire
West Mercia Police/PA Wire
Have your say

A barrister defending a soldier accused of killing North Shore Corporal Geoffrey McNeill says offcers probing the death should have also investigated the suicide of another serviceman.

Lance Corporal Richard Farrell, 23, is accused of murdering Cpl Geoffrey McNeill on March 8 at the Clive Barracks in Shropshire.

But addressing the jury at Birmingham Crown Court Stephen Linehan, defending, questioned why there had been no investigation into one of Cpl McNeill’s friends, Cpl Gordon Cronin.

Cpl Cronin was also based in the barracks but could 
also not remember what had happened on the night.

He had been out drinking in Market Drayton with Cpl McNeill on the night he was killed.

Cpl Cronin died on June 5, 2014, while on leave at home in County Cork.

The jury has already heard that in a suicide note to his family he said that after drinking shots in the Sandbrook Vaults he had not remembered anything.

In the note he said he had been trying to remember something but could 
not. He also wrote his lack of memory had “done his head in”.

He said he had gone to Cpl McNeill’s funeral but his lack of memory had “started to eat away at me”.

Mr Linehan said: “I am not here to prosecute a man who is not here. I am not here to make things unhappy for Gordon Cronin’s family.”

But he said it was his duty to raise the issue.

He said Cpl Cronin had been behaving unusually and aggressively on his way back to the barracks from the town – using concrete to damage a door, car and window of a house he passed.

“Gordon Cronin has never been investigated, because from the moment this man (Farrell) was arrested everything had been done to prove his case.” he said.