Two men accused of leaving a schoolgirl to die after supplying her with MDMA have been cleared of manslaughter.
Jason Burder and Adam King, both 28, were accused of plying Megan Bannister, 16, with booze and drugs before sending humiliating Snapchat videos of her fitting.
A court heard the pair were seen putting Megan’s lifeless body into a Vauxhall Astra at around 8am on May 14.
They were accused of driving around the streets looking for cigarettes and alcohol and contacting prostitutes while she was dying in the back seat.
Megan Bannister died after she was found on the back seat of a Vauxhall Astra in Enderby, Leicestershire
Adam King (left) and Jay Burder (right) were accused of giving her drugs or ‘spiking her’ before driving around while she lay dying on the back seat
Megan’s body was found in the vehicle after Burder, who was driving, lost control and ploughed into the back of a motorbike in Enderby, Leicestershire at around 11.45am.
Burder and King, both from Leicester, went on trial at Birmingham Crown Court two weeks ago charged with gross negligence manslaughter.
They were accused of spiking Megan’s drink with ecstasy and strangling her to death.
But the pair were today cleared after a judge directed the jury to find them not guilty of manslaughter on the grounds there was no case to answer.
Following lengthy legal argument at Birmingham Crown Court, Mrs Justice Nerys Jefford DBE ruled that Burder and King had no case to answer.
She said it was impossible to establish when Megan died and whether seeking medical attention earlier would have saved her.
Megan, who wanted to become a midwife and was working hard at school, told her parents she was going to stay the night with a girlfriend, but instead met Burder, the court heard
After being given ecstasy before being driven around in Jason Burder’s Vauxhall Astra
The pair did admit supplying ecstasy to Megan and Burder pleaded guilty to driving without due and attention.
Explaining her reasons for instructing jurors to acquit both defendants of manslaughter, Mrs Justice Jefford said: ‘Over the past few days, in your absence, I have heard legal argument in relation to the manslaughter charge.
‘It is open to the defendants to submit at the close of the prosecution case, that if you take the prosecution’s case at its highest you could not properly be sure of the defendant’s guilt.
‘I have concluded that as a matter of law there is no case to answer on the manslaughter charge and it is therefore my duty to instruct you to enter a not guilty verdict against both defendants.’
Adam King (left) and Jason Burder (right) were accused of Megan’s manslaughter but were cleared today after a judge said there was no case to answer
The pair, pictured in a court sketch, were said to have done nothing to help Megan
In a written ruling explaining her decision, the judge said there was no evidence on which a jury could be sure that failing to seek assistance for Megan – however ‘morally repugnant’ it might be – had caused her death.
Following the car crash, efforts were made to revive Megan, but witnesses said they believed she was already dead as her ‘lips were blue and she was showing no signs of life’. A pathologist later concluded that she had not died in the crash.
The precise cause of death was ‘unascertained’, but tests found a ‘massive difference in toxicity levels’ between Megan and the two men, said Miranda Moore, prosecuting.
Pathologist Dr Frances Hollingbury told the court the cause of death was either ecstasy toxicity, manual strangulation or a combination of the two.
Burder and King, both of Leicester, will be sentenced on Tuesday or Wednesday.