Man found not guilty of wounding in Shropshire smoking area fight case

By Rory Smith | Cleobury Mortimer | Crime | Published:

A man has been found not guilty of wounding after being accused of breaking a stranger's jaw with a single punch over remarks about his shoes.

Richard Francis Harry Butcher, 27, was accused of injuring Harry Lee in a pub's smoking area on a night out in Cleobury Mortimer in June 2017.

Mr Lee, who was 18 years old at the time, suffered a fracture to the left side of his jaw, which was operated on in hospital the following morning.

But yesterday a jury at Shrewsbury Crown Court found the defendant not guilty of wounding.

The court heard Butcher, of Lindridge in Tenbury Wells, admitted punching Mr Lee but maintained that he did not want to fight and was acting in self defence.

Trouble flared when remarks were made making fun of Butcher's shoes and comparing them to school shoes as they both stood in an outside area at the Old Lion pub.

The court heard Mr Lee approached Butcher and words were exchanged before the altercation occurred.

Under questioning from defence barrister Marc Davies, the defendant said he thought he was about to be attacked, and swung at Mr Lee as he tried to get away from him.

The four-day trial began at Shrewsbury Crown Court on Monday.

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley, Telford.

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