Cpl Geoffrey McNeill murder case: Accused 'looked scared' after body find

Geoffrey McNeill Image copyright West Mercia Police
Image caption Cpl McNeill was found dead at Clive Barracks on Saturday 8 March

A soldier accused of murdering his comrade in a revenge attack looked "scared" after his alleged victim's body was discovered, a court has heard.

L/Cpl Richard Farrell, 23, had a "pale complexion" and made a series of "out-of-sequence" statements after Cpl Geoffrey McNeill was found dead, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

Prosecutors allege L/Cpl Farrell broke 32-year-old Cpl McNeill's neck at Clive Barracks in Tern Hill, on 8 March.

L/Cpl Farrell denies murder.


Both men served in different companies within The Royal Irish Regiment while based at the Shropshire barracks.

A witness, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the second week of L/Cpl Farrell's trial he made the defendant a cup of tea after Cpl McNeill's body was found.

The soldier said he had discovered the corpse of Cpl McNeill, from Ballymoney, County Antrim, in his quarters.

"It [the room] was a mess, it was trashed, which was very unusual because he kept it clean and tidy," he said.

"I knelt down beside him and checked for a pulse in his neck and didn't find one."

The man said L/Cpl Farrell had walked into the corridor outside Cpl McNeill's room.

Asked how the defendant had looked, the witness said he had seemed "scared and with a pale complexion".

"He looked like he was shocked," he said.

The witness claimed L/Cpl Farrell told him he had been involved in a fight the previous night.

He told the witness he had tried to find Cpl McNeill's room "to see if everything was okay with us", it was said.

L/Cpl Farrell then "paced up and down and did not speak".

The trial, expected to last four weeks, continues.

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