Douglas Herridge was acquitted of both murder and manslaughter at Maidstone Crown Court yesterday after a 6 day long trial. The prosecution alleged that Mr Herridge had killed his step-father with a single punch to the head following a family argument. In an emotionally distressing case for all concerned, his mother who witnessed the incident testified for the prosecution, in addition to detailing previous occasions of violence against her. Mr Herridge maintained that he had acted in self-defence after he was hit with a door and grabbed around his neck, and that he had only delivered the strike to get his step-father off him. His mother did not see where the deceased’s hands were placed but did confirm that they were up high on Mr Herridge’s body, around shoulder height, and that the deceased had used the words “come on, come on then” prior to being struck. She also confirmed that Mr Herridge had experienced considerable emotional turmoil in 2012, the period in which all the violence against her occurred, and it had not been repeated since. A pathologist testified to the rare nature of the injury in the circumstances and confirmed that only moderate force was used. Though widely reported as arising from an argument over “pocket money,” the conflict leading up to the fateful blow included matters of a much more sensitive nature within the family that had remained unresolved for some time. Mr Herridge, who was 17 years old at the time of the incident, was placed to live with his father at the beginning of the case after Melanie Krudy argued rigorously against a remand into custody. He was represented at trial by Judy Khan QC of Garden Court Chambers, and barrister Ronnie Manek of GT Stewart Solicitors. James Foong was solicitor with conduct of the case.