A BARRY man has been cleared of attempted murder by a jury at Cardiff Crown Court.
The jury concluded that Gary Pincott, 56, of Holton Road, had in fact been trying to protect Leanne Ware who was pulled out of the River Taff lifeless last February having been thrown in during an argument with boyfriend Martin Edwards.
Edwards, 43, was also found not guilty of attempted murder but was found guilty of GBH and common assault. He was sentenced to three and a half years in prison.
Leanne Ware, 31, was drinking with Edwards and Mr Pincott on the riverbank at Penarth Road, Cardiff on February 16 when she and Edwards began fighting.
A scuffle ensued and Miss Ware ended up in the ice cold River Taff, she spent three minutes struggling in the water before Edwards leapt in to help.
By this time a bystander, army captain Mark Gold, had also gone into the water to help Miss Ware and was punched by Edwards when he attempted to get to her lifeless body.
Mr Gold and another passer by - qualified doctor Hannah Hetherington - resuscitated Miss Ware after Edwards had pulled her out. Without their help Miss Ware would certainly have died, Judge Elisabeth Laing said.
Mr Pincott was accused of attacking Miss Ware and helping put her in the water due to Mark Gold's eyewitness account.
Several other witnesses contradicted Mr Golds account, describing how Mr Pincott was actually trying to stop the fighting and prevent Edwards from hurting Miss Ware.
Sentencing Edwards Judge Laing said: "Gary Pincott was trying to protect her from you.
"You ignored his repeated pleas and his attempts to put himself between you and her."
Mr Pincott himself couldn't get into the water due to poor health and physical ailments including metal plates in his ankles.
She told Edwards: "You left her in there a bit too long.
"Once you realised she was in trouble you went in to help her out.
"If you had not rescued her, she would have died."