Date: 1 Jan 2004
Richard Barrington died in a street fight.
Richard Barrington had been out with friends when they got into a fight with a gang of other youths in the village. They later went back armed with a variety of instruments and a further fight took place during which Richard Barrington was injured. He was found by the police, who were called out at 1am on 1 January 2004, lying injured on the ground in The Street near to the junction with Links Avenue.
He was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital but soon died.
He had been at a party at a friend’s house celebrating New Year's when they decided to go to Richard Barrington's house to get some tobacco. On the way, they had encountered some youths near the Brundall Recreation Ground who they said had shouted at them and kicked and punched them.
They took refuge in a front garden and then decided to go back to the friend’s house where the party was. However, when they went they armed themselves with a copper pipe, a baseball bat and a garden rake. One of the youths said 'We took the implements so we could defend ourselves if there was any trouble. We thought if we had something in our hands it would keep them away from us.'.
When they met again, there was another fight and then Richard Barrington was said to have become separated and was next found lying motionless in the road.
Several people were arrested on suspicion of murder but the police later dropped the murder inquiry.
They said 'Comprehensive consultation has taken place between the police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) throughout every stage of the investigation and this coupled with the expert medical evidence has resulted in the decision not to proceed with a murder investigation.'.
One of the reasons that no one was charged was said to have been the fact that Richard Barrington had been armed with a rake at the time which would have caused problems for any prosecution. Also, the medical evidence had been inconclusive and no one had seen the blow that had killed him.
A pathologist said that Richard Barrington had suffered a sudden and catastrophic collapse that could have been caused by either a blow to the head or chest followed by him falling to the ground. The pathologist also said that his state could have been worsened by excessive attempts at resuscitation.
His friends, who had been with Richard Barrington at the time, said that they had not seen the blow that had killed him. They said that they first saw Richard Barrington lying on the ground when the fight broke up.
A girl said that she had seen someone hitting Richard Barrington with a copper pipe but said that when she had tried to pull the person off they had started to attack her. She said that the next time she saw Richard Barrington, he was lying on the road.
The inquest heard that he had fallen after being pushed into a brick pillar while running away from the youths.
The inquest into his death stated that he had been unlawfully killed.