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CHARGE DROPPED AGAINST MURDER ACCUSED; Four will face trial after stadium brawl killing.

Byline: GEMMA JALEEL @gemmajaleel

ONE of five men charged over the murder of a Merseyside man in a stadium brawl walked free from court yesterday.

Former Royal Marine Brett Williams, originally from Bebington, was murdered after a rugby match in Durban, South Africa, in March.

Prosecutor Krishen Shah at the Durban Magistrates Court told magistrate Vanitha Armu that the State had decided to withdraw charges against Grant Cramer.

Cramer was initially charged with assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and crimen injuria in respect of a security guard at the King's Park Stadium on March 23.

Cramer appeared briefly alongside his four co-accused - brothers Blayne and Kyle Shepard, Andries van der Merwe and Dustin van Wyk - who each face a charge of murder, three of assault with intent to commit grievous bodily harm and one of crimen injuria.

The State alleges that Williams, a former FREE: Grant South Wirral High School pupil, was killed in a savage "pack attack" after the Sharks v Rebels Super Rugby match at the stadium.

Shah had previously indicated that there was likelihood that charges against Cramer would be withdrawn due to speculation that he may not be directly linked to the murder.

The court had heard that Cramer was involved in a physical altercation with Williams prior to the altercation that led to his death.

The 29-year-old, who sustained injuries to his forehead, face, hands and knees, was declared dead at the scene.

Cramer's name had, on the last occasion, appeared on a list of potential State witnesses whom his co-accused were warned not to communicate with.

Yesterday Shah handed a copy of Grant's statement to the defence and confirmed that Cramer would be called to testify for the State.

Cramer Shortly after the charges against Cramer were withdrawn the four remaining accused appeared briefly before a magistrate for trial dates to be arranged. The State is expected to call a dozen witnesses during thetrial.

CAPTION(S):

FREE: Grant Cramer

RUGBY FAN: Former marine Brett Williams, from Wirral, who was murdered in South Africa
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:6SOUT
Date:Oct 9, 2013
Words:342
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