University of Southampton law student pleads NOT GUILTY to manslaughter

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By Katie King on

Aspiring lawyer accused of killing a father-of-ten on Valentines Day


A Russell Group university law student charged with the manslaughter of a father-of-ten has pleaded not guilty this morning.

University of Southampton student Ryan Cooper, who is 21-years-old, is accused of killing Gary ‘Jeff’ Stacey on Valentine’s Day this year in Newport, Isle of Wight.

The 49-year-old victim died in hospital after being found by a bus driver, lying in the middle of the street with severe head injuries. It is understood that he was assaulted at around 4am that morning. His family chose to switch off his life support machine.

Cooper — who was in his second year of study at the time the alleged assault occurred — finally appeared before the court this morning to enter his plea, following a number of adjournments.

According to local news reports, in courtroom 1 of Winchester Crown Court and before His Honour Judge Cutler CBE, Cooper pleaded not guilty to manslaughter.

The aspiring lawyer, who has now been bailed, is due to appear back in court on 8 May 2017, for a trial scheduled to last two weeks.

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