Massage death man guilty of girl's manslaughter

Hannah Pearson Image copyright Nottinghamshire Police
Image caption Hannah Pearson, from Marston in Lincolnshire, met James Morton while out with her boyfriend

A man has been cleared of murdering a 16-year-old girl but found guilty of her manslaughter.

James Morton, 24, had met Hannah Pearson on 23 July 2016 and she went to his house in Newark, Nottinghamshire.

He told the trial at Nottingham Crown Court he had been giving her a massage and she had agreed to him putting pressure on her neck.

Morton, who denied murder, saying he had no reason to want Ms Pearson dead, will be sentenced on Thursday.

Ms Pearson, from Marston in Lincolnshire, had been out in Lincoln with her boyfriend, who knew Morton.

Image copyright Nottinghamshire Police
Image caption James Morton said he called the police as soon as he realised the teenager was not breathing

He invited the couple back to the house he shared with his parents in Pierson Street but Ms Pearson's boyfriend did not have the fare.

The court heard the teenager was drunk and as they settled down to sleep, she and Morton started to kiss.

He admitted to having an interest squeezing women's necks but insisted Ms Pearson had allowed him to do so.

Once he became aware she was no longer breathing, Morton told the court, he immediately rang the emergency services, in the early hours of 24 July.

Speaking after the verdict Det Insp Justine Wilson said: "This is a profoundly tragic case where a young girl has lost her life needlessly.

"I can't pay tribute enough to Hannah's family for their bravery, patience and dignity throughout this traumatic time."

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