A British man has been found guilty of killing a fellow club promoter in a drunken fight in Ibiza.
Mitchell Andrew Loveridge, 26, went on trial on Monday for fellow Brit Harry Kingsland’s murder and was warned he faced up to 25 years behind bars if convicted.
But a jury today acquitted him of deliberately killing the 21-year-old from Shirley, Solihull, convicting him instead of manslaughter after nearly two days of deliberations.
A state prosecutor and a private prosecutor acting for Harry’s family said that they were now seeking a maximum four-year prison sentence for Loveridge, from Llwynpia in the Rhondda, following the delivery of the verdict this afternoon.
The defence lawyer urged the judge, who has reserved sentencing for a later date, to sentence his client to a minimum one-year term.
No date has yet been set for the sentence, which will be delivered in writing rather than in open court, as is normal in Spain.
Mitchell Andrew Loveridge, 26 (pictured), went on trial on Monday for fellow Brit Harry Kingsland’s murder and was warned he faced up to 25 years behind bars if convicted
Prosecutors insisted that Loveridge mercilessly attacked Kingsland, 21 (pictured), from Shirley, Solihull, as he lay on the ground after knocking him out with a punch to the head in a violent attempt to stop him separating two other rowing Brits in the flat they were in
Harry died in the second floor apartment above The Ship Inn in San Antonio, Ibiza
Loveridge, 26, took the stand on the first day of the trial to insist he had hit Harry in ‘self-defence’ on July 18, 2018 during a drunken altercation at a flat in the Ibizan party resort of San Antonio after being attacked.
He also denied assaulting him as the former Tae Kwon Do champion lay convulsing on the floor.
At the end of the lawyers’ closing speeches on Wednesday, he again took the stand to apologise to his victim’s parents for what had happened.
State prosecutors had sought an 18-year prison sentence for Loveridge before the start of the trial, while private prosecutors acting for Harry’s grieving parents had indicated they wanted him jailed for 25 years if he was convicted of murder.
Both insisted in pre-trial indictments and opening court speeches he mercilessly attacked Harry as he lay on the ground after knocking him out with a punch to the head in a violent attempt to stop him separating two other rowing Brits in the flat they were in.
Loveridge, arrested after jumping out of the second-floor apartment after fatally injuring the Brit, was remanded in prison in Spain for more than six months before his January 30, 2019 release on bail.
He was briefly remanded again in custody last year but bailed before the start of Monday’s trial.
Harry, one of seven siblings and a martial arts world champion at the age of ten, was enjoying his first spell living and working away from home after taking up a club promotions job in San Antonio.
He worked as a bricklayer to raise funds for his trip.
Loveridge is led away by police officers following the death of Harry Kingsland in San Antonio, Ibiza
Harry was a former Tae Kwon Do world champion and was working as a club promotor in Ibiza
Former Benefits Street star White Dee – Deirdre Kelly – was among those who paid tribute to him after his death.
She revealed she had met him twice while he worked as a dancer for a friend’s company, describing him as a ‘happy-go-lucky young man with a zest for life.’
She added at the time: ‘It’s absolutely tragic for this to happen to anyone, let alone someone so young.’
Victoria Cox, a lawyer for Slater and Gordon which has been supporting Harry’s family including his devastated parents Gene and Julie, said last September when the trial was suspended before being rescheduled to the start of this week: ‘It’s been more than three years since Mr and Mrs Kingsland lost their son in the most tragic of circumstances,
‘They are desperate to move on with their lives and are grateful that the Spanish criminal process is now moving forwards.
‘We often find that people who have lost loved ones will only really start to grieve their loss when court cases are over so they are keen for a trial to be held and the person responsible for Harry’s untimely death to be held to account.’
A small memorial was laid in San Antonio at the site of Harry’s death at the time of the killing. He was described as a ‘lovely lad’ by his friends and family
Harry’s mum Julie added at the time: ‘Harry was a happy go-lucky, ambitious young man whose muscles, love of sport and charming nature landed him friends wherever he went.
‘He was so excited to be moving to Ibiza, it was his first experience of working abroad and he had dreams of many more to come.
‘He had always wanted to work abroad and worked two jobs to raise the money to go to Ibiza, his favourite, happy place. For the trip to have ended in such tragic circumstances is indeed heart-breaking.
‘It has been a long few years but we are so grateful to the Spanish authorities for doing all they can in proceeding with a criminal case.
‘We will attend the trial where we hope we will get some closure to this horrific pain we are living through.’
Loveridge confessed during questioning after his arrest to hitting Harry during a ‘tussle.’
His defence lawyer insisted at the start of his client’s murder trial any conviction should be for manslaughter and carry a maximum two-year prison sentence.
Under Spanish law private prosecutions – led by the relatives of crime victims – run separately but parallel to any state prosecution.
Loveridge will remain a free man at least until sentencing occurs.
In Spain jail sentences of two years or less are normally suspended for first-time offenders.