Two Dublin men have admitted killing a 27-year-old Polish man as he walked to work in the capital in 2010.
Lukasz Rzeszutko, described by his boss as "a model employee", was found with catastrophic head injuries in the Newtown Industrial Estate, Coolock on October 2, 2010.
Martin Morgan (aged 20) of Tonlegee Road, Raheny; and Stephen Byrne (aged 18) of St Donagh’s Road, Donaghmede went on trial this week, charged with his murder. They had both pleaded not guilty to the crime but changed their pleas at the Central Criminal Court today.
No evidence was heard in the case today and Mr Justice Barry White called the jury in shortly after noon. He told the seven women and five men that the defence had requested that their clients be re-arraigned.
Stephen Byrne then pleaded not guilty to Mr Rzeszutko’s murder but guilty to his manslaughter. Aileen Donnelly SC, prosecuting, said that this plea was acceptable to the State.
Martin Morgan also pleaded not guilty to Mr Rzeszutko’s murder but guilty to his manslaughter. However, Ms Donnelly said that this was not acceptable to the State.
The judge explained to the jury that Stephen Byrne would no longer be part of the trial, which would now proceed against Martin Morgan.
“Mr Morgan has admitted to an unlawful killing of the deceased,” he explained, giving the jury the definition of murder.
He said that the issue in his case would now relate to his frame of mind at the time of that killing.
The change of pleas follows two days of evidence in the case, in which the jury heard about the "vicious" attack outside the factory where the victim worked with his two brothers.
The jury also heard of the "un-survivable" injuries he sustained, which led to his death in hospital two days later.
The last evidence shown to the jury before the change of pleas was CCTV footage from the scene taken at the time of the attack.
Byrne was remanded on continuing bail for sentencing later this month and the trial against Martin Morgan will continue on Monday.