A man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter following the death of a devoted father in Emsworth. Stephen Harrington, 47, was found with a serious head injury on land along Marlpit Lane on Saturday 23 July 2022. He was taken to hospital but sadly died two days later on 25 July.
An investigation was launched and three people – Thomas Goldring, Joseph Butler, and Tarin Linfield – were subsequently charged with his murder. They were remanded in prison to stand trial on January 23, 2023. Goldring, 21, died in December 2022. As a result, any statements provided by him as part of the investigation could no longer be used as evidence in court.
At Lewes Crown Court on Monday (January 23), Linfield, 21, of Common Road, Hambrook, pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to a charge of manslaughter and conspiracy to steal. This was accepted by the court.
Butler, 23, of Priors Leaze Lane, Hambrook, pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to a charge of conspiracy to steal. This was accepted by the court.
Linfield and Butler have been remanded in custody for sentencing on March 3, 2023. It was the prosecution’s case that the suspects attended Marlpit Lane that night to steal from Stephen. The police investigation determined Stephen died as a result of a severe blow to the head, believed to be caused by a piece of wood.
Detective Chief Inspector Gareth Hicks, Senior Investigating Officer, said: “This is a tragic case that has resulted in the sudden and heart-breaking death of a completely innocent and much-loved family man.
“From the outset, we’ve had to rely on the defendants’ accounts to try and piece together the events of that night. Unfortunately, only those who were there will ever know exactly what happened.
“Our thoughts continue to be with Stephen’s family and friends at this incredibly difficult time, and I hope this conviction of manslaughter will bring them some sense of closure.”