THE grieving partner of a Royal Marine beaten to death after watching a rugby match has called for calm after coming face to face with four men accused of murdering him.

Louise Scott, from Bishops Lydeard,is in South Africa for the trial, which began on Monday, of the four for the murder of Brett Williams, a former member of Norton Manor Camp-based 40 Commando.

Brett, 29, who left a four-year-old daughter, Lailah, was punched and kicked to death a year ago following an altercation after a game in Durban, where he was on a break from his job protecting ships from pirate attacks.

After a number of aggressive postings on Facebook, a statement issued by a family friend said: “To those that see fit to threaten the accused...the families of the deceased and Louise Scott distance themselves from this action.

“We are fighting for justice and threats will do nothing for the trial.

“Anyone threatening any witness, for or against the accused, will not be given our support – justice must take its course.”

Brothers Blayne and Kyle Sheppard, 23 and 25, Andries van der Merwe, 23, and Dustin van Wyk, 23, all deny murder.

Charges were dropped against Grant Cramer, 23, who was accused at the trial of putting Brett in a choke hold until he passed out and dropping him to the floor, according to the iolnews website.

After Brett was revived, the four accused arrived on the scene and became in a verbal exchange that escalated into a fight.

The court was told that Brett, who it was claimed had been drinking, had thrown the first punch at Mr Cramer after an unsuccessful attempt to avoid a confrontation.

Mr Cramer claimed that he and Brett had two altercations on the night after the ex-Marine had allegedly sworn at his girlfriend.

The trial continues.