Man admits Orpington killing of Eastbourne father-of-three

  • 10 October 2012
  • From the section England
James Harris-Durkin
Image caption James Harris-Durkin died from head injuries following a fight in Orpington

A man has admitted killing a 21-year-old father-of-three from East Sussex.

Liam Smith, 26, of Thorndon Close, St Paul's Cray, south-east London, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to the manslaughter of James Harris-Durkin.

He denied murder and perverting the course of justice. Leanne Turner, 25, of the same address, also denied perverting the course of justice.

Mr Harris-Durkin, from Eastbourne, died after an assault in Orpington on 5 June. A trial was set for 26 November.

Prosecutors will now decide whether to continue with the murder charge against Mr Smith.

Mr Harris-Durkin died from head injuries after he was found collapsed in Court Road, Orpington, in the early hours after attending a family barbecue to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee the evening before.

A post-mortem examination showed he died from a "deep brain bleed linked to blunt force trauma".

He had initially travelled to Orpington from his home in Eastbourne to attend a funeral.

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