Latest: Soldier found GUILTY of Corporal McNeill’s murder

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A soldier has been found guilty of murdering his comrade in a vicious and brutal attack at their barracks earlier this year.

Following 19 hours of deliberations a jury at Birmingham Crown Court today returned a majority decision against Lance Corporal Richard Farrell.

Throughout a four-week trial, Farrell had denied killing Royal Irish Regiment Corporal Geoffrey McNeill (32), who was born in Ballymoney, in his room at Clive Barracks, Tern Hill, Shropshire in March.

But the jury agreed with the Crown’s case that the 23-year-old soldier, from Dublin, had murdered Cpl McNeill “inflicting a series of heavy blows” according to prosecuting QC Christopher Hotten, breaking the older man’s neck in three places.

Farrell claimed he remembered nothing of the night’s events, having drunk at least a litre of Disaronno liqueur, after having been punched by McNeill in a pub in nearby Market Drayton earlier in the evening. He will be sentenced later.

Cpl McNeill grew up in Coleraine. He was buried at Ballywillan Presbyterian Church in Portrush following a funeral with full miliary honours.