A KILLER has been cleared of murdering a man at a party only yards from last year's V music festival.

Sam Martin had been accused of carrying out a "brutal and sustained" attack that left Anton Jardin dead in the garden of a house.

A Chelmsford Crown Court jury found him not guilty on the murder charge. But Martin admitted the manslaughter of Mr Jardin, 39, of Eastwood Road, Rayleigh, and is due to be sentenced on that charge tomorrow.

He said he had only hit his victim with a single punch, and there had been no kicking or stamping.

Martin, 26, of Eastwood Road, Leigh, nodded his head and there was gasps from the public gallery as the verdict was announced.

Mr Jardin’s family said they were “disappointed” with the verdict.