Jury clears Wellingborough man of manslaughter

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A man cleared of manslaughter has been jailed for eight months after leading police on an 11-mile chase.

Daniel Stray, 26, of Wellingborough, led offficers from Northampton to his home town Wellingborough.

Police wanted to speak to him in relation to a scuffle outside a school with Terry Bass, 55, who died two months after the incident.

Mr Bass had suffered a broken thigh and wrist during the scuffle.

Stray faced trial at Northampton Crown Court for a charge of manslaughter over the incident on June 18 last year.

However the jury cleared him of the charge.

He had already admitted dangerous driving.

The court was told the two men were involved in an argument after Stray dropped off his girlfriend’s son at Warwick Primary School in Dulley Avenue, Wellingborough.

When he returned to his car, Mr Bass challenged him because he had blocked a number of parking bays at the side of the road.

Witness Molly Robinson told the court Stray went back to his own vehicle, but walked back towards the victim when he saw Mr Bass was holding a rounders bat in his hand, saying: “What are you going to do, hit me with that bat?”

Mr Bass had the bat in the boot of his car and after the incident said he used it as a toy for his dog.

Miss Robinson said: “The two men squared up to each other. They were both being aggressive.”

She said Mr Stray threw the first punch, which Stray denied in his own evidence, which missed, and Mr Bass retaliated with the bat, which also missed.

The incident ended when Stray used his foot to push Bass backwards.

He fell backwards, hitting his head on his own car and falling to the floor.

Stray drove away but returned moments later and said: “What did you expect? You came at me with a bat.”

Pathologist Dr Michael Biggs carried out the post mortem examination on Mr Bass the day after his death on August 22 and said he had died from a deterioration in an existing liver condition which in his opinion had been precipitated by the strain placed on his body following the bone breaks and subsequent operations.

Justin Wigoder, prosecuting, said the the push by Stray led to Mr Bass’ death.

Stray was arrested a few days after the incident, but not before leading police on the 11-mile chase when they tried to stop him.

The jury returned a unanimous verdict of not guilty for manslaughter.