A MAN has been cleared of killing his brother during a row at a Northumberland shopping precinct.
Anthony Marshall was accused of the manslaughter of his brother, Michael, after an alleged row over a relative’s will.
But at the conclusion of the prosecution case at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday, prosecutors decided to offer no evidence.
As a result a judge directed jurors to find Mr Marshall not guilty of killing his older brother.
It had been claimed Mr Marshall had pushed his brother onto a bench and pinned him down during a row over a third brother’s will.
The court heard Michael had an existing heart problem and there was a dispute over whether the incident with his brother brought on the heart attack which killed him.
However, at the conclusion of their case, prosecutors reviewed the evidence and decided to drop the case.
When Alexander Marshall died, his brothers Anthony and Michael are said to have clashed over his will. Prosecutors claimed Anthony Marshall ended up pushing Michael, who was known as Little Elvis because of his passion for karaoke singing in pubs and clubs, onto a bench in a shopping precinct in Morpeth.
The court heard the pair had allegedly fallen out after Alexander died in October 2010. In his will Alexander had left his estate in trust to his son.
Anthony and Michael argued about the will and on August 23 last year they went for a meeting about it at a solicitor’s office in Morpeth.
After leaving the office the brothers called at nearby Ladbrokes, jurors heard. They then headed to the Sanderson Arcade shopping centre, where the alleged assault took place.
The court heard Michael, 52, who lived alone in a bungalow in Stobhill, Morpeth, initially walked away from the alleged confrontation with his brother, but collapsed soon afterwards and died despite attempts to save him.
When Mr Marshall, 50, of Broome Road, Carrville, County Durham, was arrested he told police he and Michael had disagreed over what should happen to their late brother’s estate. But he denied he had overpowered him in the shopping centre or that he had forced him down onto the bench.
Michael used to work as a window cleaner and was a former committee member at Morpeth Comrades Club. He was well known as an Elvis Presley devotee and regularly took part in karaoke sessions at local pubs and clubs on Tyneside.