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A NORTH WICK­LOW man has ad­mit­ted killing his best friend with a rock more than four years ago.

The 29-year-old made the ad­mis­sion through his bar­ris­ter yes­ter­day (Tues­day) on the first day of his mur­der trial at the Cen­tral Crim­i­nal Court.

Thomas O’Con­nor of Burn­aby Court, Greystones, is charged with mur­der­ing 22-year-old John O’Brien, who was from Burn­aby Lawns in Greystones on June 4, 2010.

He was ar­raigned be­fore the court on Mon­day and pleaded not guilty to mur­der­ing Mr O’Brien, but guilty to his man­slaugh­ter at Far­rankelly Road, Del­gany, Co Wick­low.

The State did not ac­cept his plea and a jury was sworn in to hear the trial.

De­nis Vaughan Buck­ley SC opened the case for the State yes­ter­day. He said that the ac­cused and de­ceased had been drink­ing that evening in the un­der­ground carpark of a su­per­mar­ket in Greystones. He said the de­ceased had struck two younger men dur­ing the evening and was re­strained by the ac­cused.

He said that the ac­cused and de­ceased sep­a­rated around 11.45 p.m., hav­ing dis­agreed about what to do.

He said there would be ev­i­dence of the ac­cused do­ing a uturn and shout­ing and curs­ing. He said an­other wit­ness saw a man wear­ing a grey hoodie stand­ing over a man ly­ing on the ground and strik­ing him re­peat­edly.

The bar­ris­ter said there would be ev­i­dence that John O’Brien was badly in­jured, bleed­ing pro­fusely and that his head was de­formed af­ter­wards. The pathol­o­gist would say he died as a re­sult of a cat­a­strophic head in­jury, he said.

Mr Vaughan Buck­ley said that the ac­cused man’s for­mer girl­friend would be an im­por­tant wit­ness.

She would tes­tify that Mr O’Con­nor came to her house that night with his palms cov­ered in blood and that he washed them with bleach and a pot scrub­ber. She would say that he told her he had been jumped by some­one with a knife, who wanted his phone.

Fer­gal Ka­vanagh SC, de­fend­ing Thomas O’Con­nor, then stood to make a num­ber of ad­mis­sions on be­half of his client.

‘ This is a case where he’s ac­cused of hav­ing mur­dered his best friend. He’s pleaded guilty to man­slaugh­ter,’ he said.

‘ Thomas O’Con­nor ad­mits that the de­ceased died from blunt force in­juries to the head, that those in­juries were in­flicted by a per­son hold­ing a rock and that the per­son in­flict­ing the in­juries was Thomas O’Con­nor,’ he said.

The trial con­tin­ues be­fore Ms Jus­tice Mar­garet Heneghan and a jury of six women and six men.

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