British tourist murder trial begins

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Paul Lavern Ritch died after being stabbed in the chest

The long-delayed trial of an American accused of murdering a British tourist and former Gladiators contestant finally begins this week.

Lavern Ritch, from Penarth, South Wales, once considered among Britain’s 50 most eligible bachelors, was on a two-week holiday and visiting friends outside Philadelphia in August 2007 when he went to the Jersey shore in Margate.

He allegedly tried to intervene when he saw Robert Davies, a convicted sex offender, fighting with another person and was stabbed once in the chest.

The final members of the jury were being chosen and opening statements are expected on Wednesday.

Mr Ritch had appeared as a contestant Gladiators in 1998, reaching the quarter-finals.

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