Teenage girl found not guilty of murder

PUBLISHED: 15:26 19 June 2014

Archant

A TEENAGE girl has been found not guilty of murdering a Weston man.

The 16-year-old girl was accused of murdering Mark Roberts, who died following an assault on Weston’s Bournville estate in October.

However a jury at Bristol Crown Court took less than a day to find her innocent of both murder and manslaughter as it returned its verdict today (Thurs).

Ryan Sheppard, aged 18 and of Sunnyside Road, had already pleaded guilty to murdering Mr Roberts at an earlier hearing.

The teenage girl was part of a group of four teenagers who encountered Mr Roberts as he returned home from a night with friends at a social club.

Sheppard, then aged 17, asked Mr Roberts for a cigarette, before punching him to the floor and kicking and stamping on him in Baildon Road on October 12 last year.

The girl admitted to filming the assault but a jury has ruled she did not participate in the violence or encourage Sheppard by videoing it.

Mr Roberts, aged 35 and described as ‘absolutely amazing’ by fiancee Zara Powell after his death, suffered a brain injury and cardiac arrest at the scene, and died in hospital 36 hours after the attack.

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