Lincolnshire

Lincoln murder trial told victim was 'gentle giant'

Shaun Rossington
Image caption Mr Rossington's family said he trusted people and wanted to be socially accepted

The trial of seven people accused of murdering a man in Lincoln has heard the victim described as "vulnerable" and "a gentle giant" by his family.

Shaun Rossington, 21, was found dead on grassland near Searby Road on 3 June. He had died of head injuries.

Two men and five teenagers - including a 14-year-old girl - all deny murder.

Giving evidence via a video link at Nottingham Crown Court, Mr Rossington's girlfriend said he had been excited at their plans to move in together.

She told the court she had been with Mr Rossington the day before he was killed. She said they had also discussed the prospect of becoming engaged.

Afraid of the dark

The jury heard written statements from Mr Rossington's parents Kevin and Sharon, in which his father called him "a gentle giant".

Mrs Rossington described her son as "vulnerable" and added he "wouldn't have gone out that night if he thought was in danger".

She said that despite his 6ft 4in (1.93m) stature, he was still afraid of the dark and, although he had problems communicating, she said he trusted people and wanted to be socially accepted.

One witness told the court how on the night of the killing he had seen a group of up to six young people close to where the body was eventually found.

He said they were talking to each other secretly and before they disappeared from view, he had seen one of the group trying to get away.

The seven defendants, all from Lincoln, are Nicholas Shelbourne, 27, of Edinburgh House, Laughton Way; Mark Jackson, 20, of Yarborough Road; two girls aged 17 and 14, and three boys - two aged 17 and another aged 16.

One of the 17-year-old boys has pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the basis of lack of intent, as well as perverting the course of the justice, while the other 17-year-old boy has admitted perverting the course of justice.

The trial continues.

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