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Wednesday, 23 February, 2000, 13:17 GMT
Man cleared of assault on Eddie Browning

Eddie Browning
Eddie Browning in his Army days

A man accused of attacking Eddie Browning - the former soldier cleared of the M50 murder - has been cleared by a jury.

Merthyr Crown Court heard a claim that Mr Browning - who was jailed for killing pregnant mother Marie Wilks on the M50 motorway before being cleared on appeal - had confessed to a friend that he committed the crime.

Lattan went in to the bedroom at great speed and Mr Browning swung the bar at him to try to slow him down
Roger Griffiths, prosecution
Mr Browning was paid 675,000 earlier this year in compensation for his wrongful arrest and imprisonment over the 1989 murder.

But the jury was told the 46-year-old former Welsh Guardsman had admitted to friend Kenny Lattan that he had murdered Mrs Wilks.

Mr Lattan made his statement during the trial, in which he was accused of hitting Mr Browning with an iron bar.

YMCA instructor Mr Lattan was found not guilty of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and wounding.

The alleged confession took place the day before Mr Browning was arrested by police on suspicion of murdering Mrs Wilks.

She was brutally stabbed at the side of the M50 as she was rang for help after her car broke down.

Her throat was slashed and her body dumped over a motorway embankment in Worcestershire.

Eddie Browning leaving the Court of Appeal in 1994 Eddie Browning leaving the Court of Appeal in 1994
Mr Browning was jailed for life at Shrewsbury Crown Court after being found guilty of the murder.

He was freed six years later when the Court of Appeal quashed the conviction.

Lattan, of Mountain Ash, Aberdare, south Wales, said he was defending himself after Mr Browning came at him with the iron bar.

The court heard that during the fight Lattan, 45, said to Mr Browning: "You admitted to me the night before you were taken in that you murdered that girl."


The jury heard that father-of-two Mr Browning denied it, saying Lattan was a liar.

Lattan then accused Mr Browning of wanting set fire to the car he was driving the day of the tragic murder.

The court heard that before leaving the scene of the fight Lattan told Mr Browning's wife: "Your husband has admitted to me that he murdered Marie Wilks."

Lattan admitted tipping off police that he thought Mr Browning was the killer but he denied getting 25,000 reward money.

He told the jury: "I reported him to the police - I was one of about 14 people who phoned in."

Father-of-four Lattan, an instructor with the YMCA, denies wounding Mr Browning after forcing his way into his home in Cwmparc, Rhondda, in September last year.

Do you think I would invite a man into my house who had been paid 25,000 for putting me in prison for murder?
Eddie Browning
The court heard Mr Browning had told a newspaper that a 25,000 reward had been paid after his conviction but he did not name Lattan as the informant.

Lattan went to Mr Browning's flat to confront him about it, the court was told.

Prosecutor Roger Griffiths said that Mr Browning kept a 12-inch iron bar at the side of his bed to protect himself and his new wife Mererid.

Head wound

Mr Griffiths said: "Lattan pushed his way into the flat after Mrs Browning had opened the door to him.

"He was shouting 'Where is he, where is he?

"Lattan went in to the bedroom at great speed and Mr Browning swung the bar at him to try to slow him down."

The prosecution claims that at one stage Lattan grabbed the iron bar and hit Mr Browning over the head with it, causing a wound that needed seven stitches.

Ieuan Morris, defending, suggested that Mr Browning had invited Lattan to his home that day.

But Mr Browning replied: "Do you think I would invite a man into my house who had been paid 25,000 for putting me in prison for murder?"

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See also:
07 Feb 00 |  Wales
Six-figure payout for wrongful jailing
23 Feb 00 |  Wales
Eddie Browning in iron bar attack

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