Leicester

Bella Wright 'green bicycle' murder recreated in Leicestershire

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Media captionA suspect on a green bicycle had been seen with Ms Wright by witnesses earlier that day

Relatives of a woman gunned down in a country lane almost 100 years ago have for the first time joined an annual bike ride held in her honour.

Bella Wright, 21, was found dead in Stretton, Leicestershire, in July 1919 after visiting her uncle.

A police investigation revealed a suspect on a green bicycle had been seen with Ms Wright earlier that day.

Former soldier Ronald Light was acquitted at a trial for her murder - but debate remains over his guilt.

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Image caption Actors recreated how Bella Wright was seen with a stranger on a green bicycle before she was killed in 1919
Image copyright Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Image caption Ronald Light's barrister successfully argued no-one could put his client at the scene of the crime

Ms Wright's relatives joined the 16-mile ride to the scene of the crime, where events leading up to Ms Wright's death were recreated by actors.

The event, organised by Ride Leicester, also launched a two-day cycling conference in the city.

Ms Wright was discovered with a bullet wound to the face and a shell casing from a .45 calibre bullet was discovered nearby.

The green bicycle was found by chance in the River Soar and its owner, Mr Light, was tracked down and arrested.

Image caption A note of Mr Light's apparent confession was filmed for the first time by the BBC

At his trial at Leicester Castle, Mr Light's barrister successfully argued no-one could put his client at the scene of the crime.

Three days after his acquittal, the suspect reportedly told police officer Levi Bowley he shot Ms Wright after his revolver went off by accident.

However he said he would continue to deny it if the apparent confession came to light.

Image copyright Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Image caption Despite Mr Light's acquittal, debate still rages over his guilt
Image caption Ms Wright's great nephew, Bernie Hobill, said it was "rather upsetting" to see where his great aunt was murdered

Ms Wright's great nephew Bernie Hobill was joined by Ms Wright's great nieces, Pam Kelly and Chrissie Fielding, on the ride.

He said: "I found it rather upsetting to think this was where Bella ended her days - it's a very sad situation."

Organiser Peter Simmonds said having Ms Wright's relatives attend the event made it "really special and poignant".

"People are fascinated by the twists and turns in the case," he said.

"There's this great affection for Bella, the local girl who was murdered that July evening."

Image copyright Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Image caption Mr Light admitted being with Ms Wright on the day she died, as well as owning the green bicycle

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