Adrian Cooksey death: Richard Elmes denies friend's manslaughter

Victim Adrian Cooksey Adrian Cooksey ran a building firm and was a keen cricketer

A man has denied the manslaughter of his friend almost three years after he gave evidence at the trial of a student wrongly accused of causing the death.

Richard Elmes, 51, denies landing the single blow which killed Adrian Cooksey in Melksham, Wiltshire, in March 2009.

Bristol Crown Court heard Mr Elmes, of Semington Road in Melksham, said he was too drunk to recall what had happened to Mr Cooksey.

Student Tom Minshull was acquitted of his manslaughter in November 2009.

Mr Cooksey, 50, from Trowbridge, who ran the building and plumbing firm A Cooksey & Sons, was discovered lying unconscious in Spa Road after a drinking session by an off-duty police community support officer in the early hours of 8 March 2009.

He was pronounced dead in hospital later that morning.

The 50-year-old was a well-known member of Bradford-on-Avon Cricket Club, captaining the second team and playing many times for the first team.

A pathologist said Mr Cooksey had died from an overwhelming brain injury, when part of his head came into contact with the ground following a heavy blow to the face.

Mr Elmes had been friends with Mr Cooksey since he was six, the court heard.

Grainy CCTV footage appeared to clear Mr Elmes of being at the scene in the moments leading up to the assault.

Bristol Crown Court Bristol Crown Court heard Mr Elmes claims to have been too drunk to recall what happened

The jury heard that gaps in CCTV footage suggested he could have been at the scene.

A fresh investigation began and his lies were discovered when police recorded him admitting that he had told "porkies".

Jury members were told Mr Elmes had earlier admitted a charge of perjury.

Ian Lawrie QC, prosecuting, said: "It is the Crown's case that the moment police spoke to Elmes following the discovery of the body that Elmes wasn't being entirely honest and that he effectively told a number of lies.

"Those statements by Elmes had one significant impact on the police investigation being carried out.

"We will discover that there were two young students on Spa Road.

"One of them, Mr Minshull, was arrested and stood trial for manslaughter. A jury acquitted him.

"Elmes attended the trial as a witness and told lies under oath."

The trial continues.

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