A COUPLE have been cleared of inflicting injuries on an Oswestry man while they were visiting friends in the town.

Mark Birch suffered broken ribs, a damaged eye and bruising during an alleged incident in his neighbour's garden.

Wesley and Marion Riggins were accused of causing the injuries to Mr Birch by kicking and punching him.

Following a brief trial at Shrewsbury Crown Court last week the couple were both found not guilty.

The couple, of Saltcoats in Ayrshire, had both denied a charge of unlawfully and maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm.

It had been claimed that Mr Birch had been set upon while he was at his neighbour's address in in Vrmwy Place, Oswestry, in July, 2017.

At the time the defendants were guests of Mr Birch's neighbours, James and Marion Pike.

The court heard that they had all been drinking at the premises.

The defendants both denied being responsible for Mr Birch's injuries and said that he had twice fallen over in the garden after drinking alcohol.

Marion Riggins, 46, told the jury they had been "absolutely stunned" by the allegations.

She said that the couple were not arrested and did not engage a solicitor and had arranged to travel to Shrewsbury to attend a police interview.

"I just wanted to tell my side of the story. I didn't feel I needed a solicitor because there was nothing to tell," she said.

Wesley Riggins, 50, said Mr Birch was talking "pretty loud" when he arrived at the Pike's house about 8pm and by his manner believed that he had been drinking beforehand.

"He was drinking away after he came and shortly afterwards he was nodding off," he said.

He said he had been upstairs for a few minutes and then came back down.

"I went out the back door and saw James just getting up and I saw Mark lying there looking out of it. I saw blood on the side of his head. We were trying to rouse him to get him up," he said.

He claimed that Mr Birch had looked "very agitated" and was flailing his arms around.