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Cpl Geoffrey McNeill murder case: Testicle lies denied by soldier

Geoffrey McNeill Image copyright West Mercia Police
Image caption Cpl Geoffrey McNeill's neck was broken in three places

A soldier giving evidence at a murder trial has denied lying about an Army medical technique involving the squeezing of testicles.

The soldier was accused of making up the technique to back up the claims of L/Cpl Richard Farrell, 23, who denies the murder of Cpl Geoffrey McNeill at their barracks in Shropshire in March.

Cpl McNeill, 32, was found with various injuries, including to his testicles.

L/Cpl Farrell has said he grabbed them to check if his comrade was conscious.

During his own evidence earlier this week, L/Cpl Farrell told how he had found Cpl McNeill lifeless in his room at Clive Barracks in Tern Hill and tried to revive him.

He described how he "grabbed his (Cpl McNeill's) testicles" in order to test the older man's consciousness and was "90%" sure that he had been taught this on an Army medical course.

'In disbelief'

The prosecution alleges that L/Cpl Farrell inflicted brutal injuries on Cpl McNeill, from Ballymoney in County Antrim - including breaking his neck in three places and striking "heavy blows" to his testicles - after a night out drinking.

Giving evidence on Friday, the soldier, who came through basic training with L/Cpl Farrell and described him as a friend, told Birmingham Crown Court he had also learned the same testicle-squeezing technique.

Christopher Hotten QC, prosecuting, asked the solder: "That's a lie, isn't it - I am suggesting to you that's not true?"

But the soldier, who cannot be identified, responded: "No, I am suggesting to you it's the truth."

The prosecution then called an Army medical trainer to give evidence - a man whom L/Cpl Farrell had previously alluded to in his evidence as having been one of those who had taught him to check the testicles of an injured comrade.

The soldier, a serving sergeant, said he had read reports of what Farrell had stated, in press coverage of the trial.

"I was a bit in disbelief, as this is not taught," he told the jury.

Asked by Mr Hotten if he had ever taught that it was appropriate to poke a soldier's testicles, he replied: "No".

The trial continues.

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