Northern Ireland

Man admits Cookstown manslaughter of Conor McCusker

Conor McCusker
Image caption Conor McCusker died in hospital after the incident

A Cookstown man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter at the start of his retrial on the charge.

Chris Murphy, 23, from Tullagh Drive, admitted unlawfully killing Conor McCusker outside a nightclub in Cookstown two years ago.

Murphy had denied the charge throughout his six-week trial earlier this year.

On Tuesday, his defence counsel asked for the charge to be put to him again as the retrial was due to start. Murphy then pled guilty to it.

Mr McCusker was on a night out with his brother, the Derry GAA player Niall, when he suffered serious head injuries in a fight.

A jury was unable to reach a verdict in first trial, but the prosecution secured a retrial which should have started on Tuesday.

After Murphy admitted the manslaughter, relatives of Mr McCusker looked shocked, then some wept and were comforted by other family members.

Outside the court, the family said they were emotional but glad the truth had come out.

Murphy was released on bail ahead of pre-sentence reports and will be sentenced next month

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