08:43AM, Thursday 27 March 2014
A bar manager has spoken of his relief after he was cleared by a jury at Guildford Crown Court of killing another man.
Gary Eastley - along with fellow defendants Jake Corney and David Lamkowski - walked away from court as innocent men after being found not guilty of the manslaughter of Marcin Pastuszczak at Boulters Terrace Bar and Riverside Brasserie in Maidenhead on November 7, 2012.
Their 16-month ordeal started when they restrained Mr Pastuszczak after his drunken 'threatening and aggressive' behaviour that included intimidating manner towards barmaid Natasha Wicks.
The 34-year-old died of a heart attack but the three insisted throughout the trial they had done nothing other than hold him to the ground outside the Riverside venue.
He was barred from most pubs in Maidenhead and the trial was also told Mr Pastuszczak was 'immensely strong' and had previously bitten an off-duty police officer.
Gary, who was arrested the same night and charged with manslaughter in July said the ordeal has 'ruined his life' and that of his mother Kate - but he stands firm in the belief he did the right thing.
The 26-year-old, who was working as the venue's bar manager on the night, said: "I don't want to experience this ever again but I wouldn't change it."
"I couldn't let people get hurt.
"I always want to protect people. I put myself on the line at any time."
The trial started on Wednesday, March 5 and Gary admits being scared by the court experience.
He is also angry at how police treated him throughout the ordeal.
"The fact that they can sleep at night is unbelievable," added Gary who was told he could face seven years behind bars.
He said the not guilty verdict was an emotional moment for all three defendants and even some of the jurors had tears in their eyes.
Since he was charged Gary, who moved to Maidenhead from Cornwall aged 20 to 'better himself', said he has experienced stress-related illness.
He is now looking forward to returning to his position as bar manager at Boulters Terrace Bar and Riverside Brasserie and also hopes to find work as a personal trainer, a qualification he trained for while on bail.
He said: "Luckily I had nice people around me who supported me and helped me."
"My life is going to start getting better now."
Gary, from Brampton Court, Maidenhead, was found not guilty of manslaughter on Tuesday.
Jake Corney, 23, of Filmer Road in Windsor - the boyfriend of Natasha Wicks - and the Boulters restaurant manager David Lamkowski, 29, of Snowden Avenue in Maidstone, Kent, were also cleared of the same charge.
A spokesman for Boulters Terrace Bar and Riverside Brasserie said: "As the jury agreed, the events of November 7th 2012 were both tragic and accidental. We will continue to offer our employees who were involved any support we can to help them move on with their lives.
"Most importantly however, our thoughts remain with the family and friends of Marcin Pastuszczak."
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