A MAN who was accused of killing his brother has told of his relief at being found not guilty.
Tony Marshall says he can now begin to grieve for his brother Michael after a traumatic nine months.
Michael, 52, died of a heart attack after an argument with his brother last year.
Tony was horrified when he was later charged with manslaughter.
However, a judge at Newcastle Crown Court told jurors to find Tony, 50, not guilty, after experts said Michael had been suffering from an undiagnosed serious heart defect, and could have died at any time, and this was not influenced by the row.
The first Tony, of Carville, Durham City, knew of his brother’s death was when police knocked on his door the following morning.
Shocked, he was told he would be taken to the hospital to identify Michael but instead, was driven to a police station, where he faced a gruelling 26 hours of questioning.
Tony said: “Obviously it was a shock and I was upset when I found out he had died.
“The next thing I knew, I was being arrested for manslaughter. I was just in total shock, I couldn’t believe it.”
The argument occurred after a meeting at a solicitor’s office in Morpeth over the will of their brother Alexander, who had also died of heart problems.
Prosecutors had claimed Tony pushed his brother onto a bench at a shopping centre.
“When we got to a bench all I did was sit him down and told him to stop and listen,” said Tony.
“Then he got up and swung for me.”
Tony turned and walked off for home. He later found out that Michael had collapsed and died.
Tony said: “At the end it was just his health that killed him. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. He could have died at any point and that was his time.
“It’s just awful that we argued that day. The last thing I said to him was ‘shut up’ but I could never have known.”