Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Corporal Geoffrey McNeill killing: Soldier charged with murdering Co Antrim serviceman found dead at Army barracks

Corporal Geoffrey McNeill was found dead in base
Corporal Geoffrey McNeill was found dead in base

A 23-year-old soldier has appeared in court charged with murdering a Co Antrim corporal and fellow member of his unit who was found dead at their barrack in England.

Lance Corporal Richard Farrell, who is alleged to have killed Ballymoney-born Corporal Geoffrey McNeill last Saturday, was remanded in custody after making a brief appearance at Telford Magistrates' Court.

Farrell, a member of 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment, spoke only to confirm his name, age, date of birth, and that he was based at Clive Barracks in Tern Hill, north Shropshire.

Magistrates ordered Farrell, who appeared in the dock wearing a blue sweater and dark trousers, to remain in custody until a further hearing at Shrewsbury Crown Court on March 31.

Cpl McNeill, who also served with the The Royal Irish Regiment, was found dead in an accommodation block at Clive Barracks at about 9am on Saturday.

Farrell, who was charged with murder early today, is understood to have been arrested around two hours after Cpl McNeill was discovered.

West Mercia Police have yet to confirm the cause of Cpl McNeill's death after further tests were ordered following a post-mortem examination.

The 32-year-old serviceman was described earlier this week as a man who dedicated his life to his regiment and served his country "with the highest degree of honour and dedication".

One of the victim's three brothers, Jason McNeill, said in a statement: "He was a much loved son, brother, uncle and friend and touched the lives of all who had the pleasure of meeting him."

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