Mother of two found not guilty of manslaughter

PUBLISHED: 08:00 27 June 2014

Bristol Crown Court.

Bristol Crown Court.

Archant

A MOTHER of two has been found not guilty of causing a man’s fatal heart attack by punching him in the chest.

Rebecca Rivers, aged 21 and of Chamberlain Road, Locking, was accused of hitting 64-year-old Weston man Peter Edwards during a row last November.

Mr Edwards, who suffered from angina, collapsed following the altercation and was taken to Bristol Royal Infirmary but died five days later.

Miss Rivers was subsequently charged with manslaughter following the November 5 incident at Mr Edwards’ home in Avon Close.

In police interviews read out in Bristol Crown Court last week, Miss Rivers said she had seen Mr Edwards - who she knew through a past relationship - use a spray for his condition, but did not know what it was for.

Describing the incident in statements read in court, she said: “He was pushing me towards the door and said to Sandra [his wife] to call the police.

“I kicked the door and spat on it and then I left. I definitely did not assault Pete.

“He looked in reasonable health apart from the hearing aid.

“I knew he had a heart condition. But I didn’t know the full extent because I’ve never met anyone with a heart condition in my life. I just knew he had a poorly heart.

“I knew he had a spray and needed it if he was stressed. I have seen him use the spray before but I don’t know what that’s for.”

Medical experts told a jury how Mr Edwards had died of a heart attack, but not as a result of the alleged punches.

Jurors accepted that Miss Rivers had not thrown punches, and cleared her of the charge.

In the police interviews following her arrest, which were read out during the trial, Miss Rivers said of Mr and Mrs Edwards: “No matter what happened, I love them both so much.”

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