Richard Elmes found guilty of the manslaughter of Adrian Cooksey after having committed perjury


Richard Elmes, 51, from Melksham (Wiltshire) was today found guilty at Bristol Crown Court of the manslaughter of Adrian Cooksey, 50, from Trowbridge. He had already pleaded guilty to an offence of perjury during the course of his trial.

Adrian Cooksey died from a brain injury following a single, violent punch in Spa Road, Melksham in the early hours of Sunday, 8 March 2009.  In the police investigation that followed, Elmes gave signed statements to Wiltshire Police in which he said that although he had been drinking with Mr Cooksey that night, he had not accompanied Mr Cooksey down Spa Road and that he and Mr Cooksey had parted on good terms. 

Ian Harris, Head of the Complex Casework Unit for the Crown Prosecution Service Wessex said: "This was a lie; it is now clear that he did walk down Spa Road with Mr Cooksey and that they did not part on good terms.  As a result of his lies, Elmes evaded justice and Thomas Minshull, an innocent man, was put on trial for the manslaughter of Mr Cooksey - an offence he did not commit. 

"Elmes maintained his false account even after Mr Minshull had been charged and, later in 2009, repeated the same lies on oath during Mr Minshull's trial. 

"Wiltshire Police continued with the investigation after Mr Minshull's acquittal and ultimately this led to Elmes' prosecution and now his conviction both for the manslaughter of his long time friend, Mr Cooksey and, through his lies, for perjury.

"I would like to thank all those many people who gave their genuine assistance to Wiltshire Police and in particular I would like to thank and extend my sincere condolences to Mr Cookseys family and to Mr Minshull's family, both of whom have suffered a great deal more than would have been the case had Elmes not perjured himself."