A PENSIONER has been cleared by a court of killing his neighbour in a row over noise.

Garry Poore had been accused of hitting Ronald Mayne during a noisy neighbour dispute in February this year.

The pensioner denied a charge of manslaughter and was cleared by a jury after a Chelmsford Crown Court trial.

There were dramatic scenes in court room number one as the jury forman revealed the not guilty verdict.

Mr Poore cried "Ooh" and started crying as members of Mr Mayne's family quickly left the court. Some of Mr Poore's relatives went to comfort him as he reached for a handkerchief to dry his eyes.

He then looked over to the jury of six men and six women and said "thank you."

As Mr Poore, 75, was helped from the court, a relative said: "We're just glad it's all over."

Prosecutors had alleged Mr Poore punched or pushed Mr Mayne during a late night row over noise. He fell hitting his head on the ground and died a week later in hospital.

Mr Poore told the court he never touched Mr Mayne and said he had tripped and fallen.

The trial heard both men lived next door to each other on the Templeton caravan park in Bakers Lane, West Hanningfield.

On the evening of February 26 this year, Mr Mayne was at home and Mr Poore had been out with his family. Both men had been drinking although Mr Poore said he only had two large vodkas with water.

He returned home and shortly after midnight, called police to complain about noise coming from 68-year-old Mr Mayne's caravan.

Officers arrived and Mr Mayne agreed to turn his television down before they left.

But around an hour later, police got another call from Mr Poore complaining about more noise and he was told police would go round there again.

Before they arrived, the trial heard how Mr Poore left his home and confronted Mr Mayne.

Moments later, Mr Poore said Mr Mayne tripped and fell hitting his head on the ground.

Mr Poore, from Stock Road, Billericay, told his trial he "went nuts" and ended up arguing with Mr Mayne over swearing and noise from his television.

But he said he did not tuch Mr Mayne.

His death was an accident, he said.