Crown court judge directs not guilty verdict in Ballantine trial

A TRIAL of a Glanaman man accused of the manslaughter of 69-year-old pensioner has been stopped.

Steffan Ballantine, aged 36, of 101 Cwmaman Road, had denied the charge.

A jury at Swansea crown court heard how Roy Taylor was pushed to the ground outside the Miners’ Welfare club in Wind Street, Ammanford, on August 20 last year.

He hit his head on a manhole cover and died nine days later from bleeding and swelling to the brain.

But at first he appeared to be recovering and declined to go to hospital or to tell the police that he had been pushed.

A friend who took him home left him “up and about and eating something in the kitchen".

But the jury also heard that Mr Taylor had been drinking a lot and later the same evening fell at his home at 136 Waterloo Road, Penygroes, at least twice.

The bangs as he fell in a bathroom and then in a bedroom were so loud they were heard by his next door neighbour Susan Bishop.

On the third day of the trial, Patrick Griffiths, prosecuting, said that, after reviewing the case, he would offer no further evidence.

The judge, Mr Justice Wyn Williams, directed the jury to enter a verdict of not guilty, which they did.

Ballantine told police in a prepared statement after his arrest that he thought Mr Taylor was about to attack him and defended himself with reasonable force.

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