Birmingham & Black Country

Man admits killing Blakenhall father Stephen Phillips

Stephen Phillips Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Stephen Phillips died from a head injury, a post-mortem test showed

A man has admitted killing a father-of-six by punching him in the head causing him to fall and fracture his skull.

Stephen Phillips' death at his Wolverhampton flat was not thought to be suspicious but tests proved he was struck before he fell.

Lewis Thornton, 24, went on trial for manslaughter and robbery but changed his pleas to guilty after hearing the prosecution's case.

Thornton, of no fixed abode, will be sentenced on Wednesday.

Mr Phillips, 54, had his mobile phone stolen by Thornton on 11 March 2014.

He walked from the scene on Derry Street at its junction with Birmingham Road in Blakenhall to his flat in nearby Dudley Road.

His son Barry found him dead the next day and a post-mortem examination showed he had died from a head injury and internal bleeding.

West Midlands Police initially believed Mr Phillips had fallen at home after drinking heavily, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.

But a forensic post-mortem examination a week later showed injuries consistent with an "accelerated fall backwards" and a homicide.

The jury was shown CCTV footage which put Thornton at the scene.

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