Skegness

Couple cleared of Skegness murder charges

A couple accused of killing a Lincolnshire grandmother during a bar brawl have been cleared by a jury trial.

Lincoln Crown Court was told that the victim Caroline Fisher, 53, struck one of the defendants, Hayley Fletcher, over the head with a beer glass.

Her partner Leon Wadsworth then punched the Lincolnshire grandmother and knocked her to the ground outside the Buzz Bar in Ingoldmells.

Then Fletcher kicked her twice to the head. Ms Fisher never got up after receiving the kicks and was pronounced dead after being taken to the Pilgrim Hospital, Boston.

The jury of six men and six women deliberated for five hours before returning verdicts of not guilty to murder and not guilty to an alternative charge of manslaughter against Leon Wadsworth and Hayley Fletcher.

Pathologist Dr Michael Biggs told the jury that Ms Fisher suffered a traumatic brain injury. He was unable to say whether the fatal blow was caused either by the punch or one of the kicks or by a combination of those events

Peter Joyce QC, prosecuting, alleged that afterwards Fletcher celebrated with Wadsworth with the two of them are staging a mock reconstruction of the fatal blows before they hugged and kissed each other.

The violence outside the bar followed an incident inside in which Wadsworth head-butted Nottingham man Michael Wilcox on the dance floor.

The jury was told that Ms Fisher, who was on the first day of a holiday with family and friends, wore tinted glasses because she had limited sight and was wearing a protective device on her leg which had previously been fractured.

Fletcher, who was on holiday with her cousin Lacey Lee and Ms Lee’s partner Wadsworth, told the jury she acted in self defence after she was subjected to an unprovoked attack.

She denied she intended to either murder or injure Ms Fisher.

Fletcher said: “When I was hit over the head I felt she wanted to kill me. I was scared. I thought she was going to get back up and attack me.”

Wadsworth said he intervened in the violence to protect Fletcher after she was attacked by three people.

He said that initially he was proud of the fact that he had defended her against three attackers but his view changed later when he discovered that Ms Fisher had died. He said he had no intention to either murder Ms Fisher or cause her serious injury.

Leon Wadsworth, 31, of Milnrow Road, Sheffield, and Hayley Fletcher, 31, of Paper Mill Road, Sheffield, each denied the murder of Caroline Fisher on July 21 2018. Wadsworth admitted causing actual bodily harm to Michael Wilcox.

He was jailed for 10 months for the assault which is likely to result in his immediate release because of the amount of time he spent in custody on remand.