Louth man Harry Scott guilty of friend's manslaughter

A man has been found guilty of killing a friend who suffocated while trapped between the rungs of a loft ladder.

Harry Scott, 23, broke down in tears when the jury convicted him of the manslaughter of 32-year-old Richard Woods in Louth, Lincolnshire.

Mr Woods was asphyxiated when he became trapped between the rungs of the ladder as he tried to escape the loft and while Scott hit him around the legs.

Scott, of Ramsgate, Louth, will be sentenced at a later date.

'Final act of abuse'

The three-week trial heard Mr Woods was a vulnerable, shy and quiet man who was regularly bullied by Scott.

Last January the pair had been out drinking in Louth but when Mr Woods went up to his loft, Scott drew up the ladder and secured it so it could not be lowered.

Det Ch Insp Martin Holvey said that when Mr Woods became trapped, Scott chose not to help him, instead hitting him on his legs with a piece of wood.

"The prosecution case was that he inflicted one final act of abuse by beating him repeatedly in those last few moments," he said.

The victim's brother Nicholas Woods, speaking on behalf of the family, said it had been a difficult time but they were pleased with the verdict.

Scott was bailed to a later date for probation and psychiatric reports.

Judge Stuart Rafferty QC said: "I don't know what the sentence on you will be. It may well be that you will go into custody."

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