Louth man Harry Scott was this afternoon (Friday January 30) found guilty of the manslaughter of Richard Woods.
Scott stood with his head down and wept in the dock as the jury foreman delivered the verdict at the end of a three week trial.
The jury of five women and seven men took just under four hours to reach their verdict at Lincoln Crown Court.
Scott,23, of Ramsgate, Louth, had denied the manslaughter of 32 year old Mr Woods on 12 January last year.
Judge Stuart Rafferty QC adjourned sentence to a later date to allow for the preparation of probation and psychiatric reports on Scott.
The Judge granted bail to Scott, telling him: “I don’t know what the sentence on you will be. It may well be that you will go into custody.”
During the trial Adrienne Lucking QC, prosecuting, told the jury that Scott unlawfully imprisoned Richard Woods in the loft of Mr Woods’ home in Spring Terrace, Louth, by raising the connecting ladder and securing it so that it could not be lowered.
Richard Woods attempted to climb between two of the ladder steps and became trapped. He subsequently died as a result of asphyxiation.
Mrs Lucking described the incident as the culmination of bullying behaviour by Scott towards Richard Woods who the jury was told was a shy and vulnerable man.
Richard’s brother, Nicholas Woods, speaking on behalf of the family, said: “We are pleased with the verdict of the jury today. This has been a very difficult experience for us all but we would like to say a big thank you to Lincolnshire Police for their help and support throughout the investigation and trial”.
Senior Investigating Officer, DCI Martin Holvey, from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (Major Crime), said: “Richard Woods had been the victim of bullying by Harry Scott for some time and it was this behaviour that led to Richard ending up imprisoned in his own loft.
“When Richard’s efforts to escape went so horribly wrong, Scott had the opportunity to help him but he failed to do so until it was too late. Indeed, not only did he leave Richard in extreme danger but the prosecution case was that he inflicted one final act of abuse by beating him repeatedly in those last few moments.
“Richard’s family have had to face the anguish of losing him in such dreadful circumstances as well as a lengthy court trial and I hope today’s verdict will help as they come to terms with their loss”.
The date for sentencing will be confirmed later.