Cpl Geoffrey McNeill murder case: Accused ‘found body under bed’

Cpl Geoffrey McNeill's neck was broken in three places

Cpl Geoffrey McNeill's neck was broken in three places

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A soldier accused of murdering a comrade has told a jury he tried to revive his alleged victim after discovering his body underneath a bed.

L/Cpl Richard Farrell, 23, initially thought Cpl Geoffrey McNeill was asleep in his room at their Shropshire barracks, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

Prosecutors allege L/Cpl Farrell broke the neck of Cpl McNeill, 32, from Ballymoney at Clive Barracks in Tern Hill, on 8 March.

L/Cpl Farrell denies murder.

The jury has heard L/Cpl Farrell was seen sleeping in a guardroom at the barracks on the morning of 8 March, after both he and Cpl McNeill had been drinking at pubs in nearby Market Drayton.

The 23-year-old soldier told defence barrister Stephen Linehan QC he had no memory of what he drank in Market Drayton.

He told the jury his last memory was of seeing another soldier and Cpl McNeill standing in front of him “and next it just goes black”.

His next recollection was of waking up in the guardroom at Clive Barracks, the court heard.

The trial has previously heard that a soldier in the guardroom informed L/Cpl Farrell he had a cut on his lip, which he checked in a mirror.

The soldier told the court he later “put two and two together” and went to Cpl McNeill’s room to apologise.

He assumed he had been punched by Cpl McNeill or another soldier after being “an absolute idiot” during the night out, the jury heard.

He said he found Cpl McNeill under the bed and that “his face was blue”.

The soldier told the court he tried to clear his comrade’s airway and administered chest compressions.

The trial continues.