A MAN accused of murdering his neighbour has walked free from court after he was cleared by a jury.

Mark McGuinness, of Thornhill Gardens, Shildon, has been on trial following the death of Rory Boyce.

The jury at Newcastle Crown Court heard My Boyce died from a stab wound after an argument between the two families on March 30.

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Mr McGuiness, 52, said he had no intention of harming Mr Boyce and picked up a knife to scare his neighbour.

The day before Mr Boyce’s death Mr McGuinness said one of his children was lying on the sofa ill and was being disturbed by loud music from next door.

He said requests to have the music turned down were met uncharacteristic aggression from his neighbour.

The following day, he came back from shopping to find his wife and daughter and two-year-old son upset.

Mr McGuinness said Mr Boyce had sworn at his wife and told her to keep the children quiet.

He claimed Mr Boyce swung a soundbar speaker at him, which grazed his temple.

Mr McGuinness said he jumped over the garden fence with a knife and his intention was ‘to scare him’.

He said he was not using it in a threatening manner and didn’t point it at him and the blade was pointing upwards.

He told the jury he was asking for his family to be left alone.

Mr McGuinness said Mr Boyce’s partner then punched him and he swung his hand in self-defence and hit her in the mouth.

The court heard Mr Boyce lunged at him “like a steam train” and had his hand on his throat.

He said he did not deliberately stab him and did not realise the knife had gone into him at first.

He said: “I just wanted to tell him he was bang out of order, I didn’t mean to do him any harm.”

Mr McGuinness was found not guilty of murder and not guilty of manslaughter by the jury on Wednesday afternoon.

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