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Man beaten to death for being gay, court hears

A man found beaten to death on Easter Sunday morning may have been attacked because he was gay, a court has heard.

Shaun Fitzpatrick, a shopkeeper from Dungannon, suffered 36 separate injuries after a “brutal and sustained assault” during the early hours of March 23, 2008.

The details were outlined as two Lithuanian men, with addresses in Dungannon, went on trial accused of his murder.

Andrius Dunauskas and Ramunas Balseris both blame each other for the attack. In the opening day of the trial, expected to last up to six weeks, Dungannon Crown Court heard the 32-year-old had been so badly beaten that paramedics initially thought he may have been shot in the head.

Hours before he died, Mr Fitzpatrick had been drinking with friends at Donaghy’s Bar, and left 10 minutes after the defendants.

Outlining the prosecution’s case, Stephen Fowler QC said it was alleged that both men attacked Mr Fitzpatrick, dragged him up an alleyway and there subjected him to a further, fatal, kicking.

He said it was a “joint enterprise” in which both took part “willingly and actively”.

The case continues.

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