A NEWCASTLE man has admitted the manslaughter of his second cousin.
John Stanley Foster (31) will be sentenced in the New Year, after unexpectedly pleading guilty to the manslaughter of David Mills in Ballynahinch last year.
Mr Mills (47), a former Irish League footballer who lived in Seaforde, died after sustaining serious head and neck injuries during the attack in the early hours of 30 September 2012.
Foster went on trial, accused of murdering Mr Mills, at the beginning of last week.
The defendant entered his plea to the lesser manslaughter charge at Downpatrick Crown Court yesterday (Tuesday).
The jury was then directed to find him not guilty of the more serious offence of murder by Judge Tom Burgess, the Recorder of Belfast.
Foster, with an address at Corrigs Road and a previous address at Carrigvale in Dundrum, remains on bail until he is sentenced in January.
Before the unexpected turn of events on Tuesday, a jury had been hearing details of Mr Mills’ final hours before the incident at Dromore Street.