Pair found not guilty of murdering Nottinghamshire grandmother

editorial image

Two holidaymakers accused of killing grandmother Caroline Fisher during a brawl outside a seaside bar were this afternoon (Wednesday, April 17) cleared by a jury at Lincoln Crown Court.

The jury of six men and six women deliberated for five hours before returning verdicts of not guilty to murder and not guilty to an alternative charge of manslaughter against Leon Wadsworth and Hayley Fletcher.

During the trial the jury was told that Ms Fisher, 53, struck Fletcher over the head with a beer glass before she was punched by Wadsworth knocking her to the ground outside the Buzz Bar in Ingoldmells.

Then Fletcher kicked her twice to the head. Ms Fisher never got up after receiving the kicks and was pronounced dead after being taken to the Pilgrim Hospital, Boston.

Pathologist Dr Michael Biggs told the jury that Ms Fisher suffered a traumatic brain injury. He was unable to say whether the fatal blow was caused either by the punch or one of the kicks or by a combination of those events

Peter Joyce QC, prosecuting, alleged that afterwards Fletcher celebrated with Wadsworth with the two of them are staging a mock reconstruction of the fatal blows before they hugged and kissed each other.

The violence outside the bar followed an incident inside in which Wadsworth headbutted Nottingham man Michael Wilcox on the dance floor.

The jury was told that Ms Fisher , who was on the first day of a holiday with family and friends, wore tinted glasses because she had limited sight and was wearing a protective device on her leg which had previously been fractured.

Fletcher, who was on holiday with her cousin Lacey Lee and Ms Lee's partner Wadsworth, told the jury she acted in self defence after she was subjected to an unprovoked attack. She said she was struck by Ms Fisher over the head with a beer glass during the attack on her.

She denied she intended to either murder or injure Ms Fisher.

Fletcher said "When I was hit over the head I felt she wanted to kill me. I was scared. I thought she was going to get back up and attack me."

Wadsworth said he intervened in the violence to protect Fletcher after she was attacked by three people.

He said that initially he was proud of the fact that he had defended her against three attackers but his view changed later when he discovered that Ms Fisher had died. He said he had no intention to either murder Ms Fisher or cause her serious injury.

Leon Wadsworth ,31, of Milnrow Road, Sheffield, and Hayley Fletcher ,31, of Paper Mill Road, Sheffield, each denied the murder of Caroline Fisher on 21 July 2018. Wadsworth admitted causing actual bodily harm to Michael Wilcox. He is expected to be sentenced later today for the assault.