Trial jury visits barracks

Cpl Geoffrey McNeill
Cpl Geoffrey McNeill
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The jury in the trial of a soldier accused of murdering his comrade has visited the barracks where the killing is alleged to have taken place.

Jurors at Birmingham Crown Court have been hearing the Crown’s evidence against Lance Corporal Richard Farrell.

Yesterday, they travelled to Clive Barracks at Tern Hill in Shropshire, where it is alleged he murdered Cpl Geoffrey McNeill, from North Shore, earlier this year.

Both men served with The Royal Irish Regiment, but in different companies.

Prosecutors say 23-year-old Farrell “violently and brutally attacked” his 32-year-old colleague in his room at the barracks sometime between 4am and 6am on March 8, after both men had been out drinking.

In CCTV shown to the court during Christopher Hotten QC’s opening of the Crown’s case, Farrell was shown being floored by a single punch delivered by Cpl McNeill in a pub in the nearby town of Market Drayton.

Neither of the men knew each other, beyond professionally and were in different companies in the regiment.

Following the incident Cpl McNeill was asked to leave the pub and made his own way back to the barracks.

The prosecution say Farrell sought out the corporal in his room, assaulting him and breaking his neck in a possible revenge attack for the earlier incident.

Jurors heard that Farrell told police he was drunk and remembered nothing of that night, after being punched in the pub.

Farrell denies murdering Cpl McNeill, originally of Ballymoney, Northern Ireland

Following yesterday’s visit, the jury was released for the day and the trial will continue today.