England

RAF Benson pilot not guilty of attempting to murder girlfriend

Flt Lt Timothy Barry Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Flt Lt Timothy Barry admitted assault at a previous hearing

An RAF pilot has been found not guilty of attempting to murder his girlfriend by strangling her.

Flt Lt Timothy Barry, 31, attacked Sqn Ldr Sarah Seddon, 40, after a night out in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, in 2018.

Both were pilots based at RAF Benson in Oxfordshire at the time.

Barry had admitted assault at a previous hearing. He was also cleared at Oxford Crown Court of a charge of grievous bodily harm with intent and will be sentenced on 19 December.

Sqn Ldr Seddon celebrated the not guilty verdict with family in court, and left with Barry.

'Felt paralysed'

During the trial Barry, of Mill View, Cuxham, said he felt like an "absolute monster" after he put his hands around his girlfriend's neck, and had tried to kill himself in its aftermath.

He said the couple drank a lot of alcohol to celebrate Sqn Ldr Seddon's return from deployment, but they argued on a night out and when they got home.

When asked how his hands ended up on her neck, he said: "I genuinely don't recall how they moved up."

He told police he "felt paralysed" during the assault, that it was "like an out of body kind of thing", and that he held her neck for "about a minute".

The jury heard a medical assessment completed about five hours afterwards found Sqn Ldr Seddon "felt well and wanted to get up and go for a run".

During a 999 call following the assault, the trial heard Barry said: "I have tried to kill my girlfriend by strangulation."

An RAF spokesman said: "The RAF will consider the court's findings."

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