A 20-year-old student has been convicted of killing a pensioner after assaulting him in his Sutton Coldfield home in December last year.
Rhys Reynolds was found guilty of the manslaughter of 72-year-old Tony McCorry at Birmingham Crown Court today (14 Oct).
The jury heard that 20-year-old Reynolds, from Landswood Close, Kingstanding, met Mr McCorry in his local pub in Boldmere on 10 December, where the elderly man used to enjoy a few pints. Having mislaid his walking stick and unsteady on his feet, Mr McCorry accepted the university student’s offer to help him home after a chance meeting as the pub was closing.
However less than half an hour later Mr McCorry lay dying on his bedroom floor with serious injuries to his head, neck and chest.
At the same time Reynolds called a number of friends to ask them to cover for him, but in spite of advice from them, Reynolds refused to call an ambulance. It was almost two hours later when one friend tracked Reynolds via his ‘Snapchat’ account to Mr McCorry’s home that the alarm was raised.
When paramedics arrived, Reynolds claimed to be a relative and suggested that Mr McCorry had fallen, but sadly, despite the best efforts of medical staff, Mr McCorry had succumbed to a heart attack and nothing could be done to save him.
At court Reynolds’ credibility was brought into question when the prosecuting barrister, Richard Atkins QC, highlighted up to 24 different accounts which the drama student had given of how Mr McCorry came by his injuries.
Initially Reynolds claimed that Mr McCorry had fallen down the stairs and, in an earlier telephone call, Reynolds attempted to convince one of his friends that he was being held against his will and said: ‘Why is he doing this to me?’ and ‘Make him stop.’ but the evidence demonstrated that Mr McCorry was already incapacitated by this point.
Reynolds later went on to claim that he was attacked by the 72-year-old and had struck Mr McCorry in self-defence.
However, Forensic Pathologist, Dr Biedryzycki informed the court of several sites of injury including multiple fractures to Mr McCorry’s larynx with the most likely cause being forceful neck compression.
Ultimately the jury followed the evidence, rejecting Reynolds’ version of events and returned a verdict of manslaughter.
Detective Sergeant Rory Juss, from the force’s homicide unit, said: “Sadly today’s verdict will not bring Mr McCorry back.
“He leaves behind two sons and eight grandchildren who continue to grieve his loss. I hope today’s conviction will help them come to terms with his death.”
Reynolds will be sentenced on 27 November.
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