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Man who admits killing OAP released on bail

A Portadown man has admitted killing a pensioner who died more than two months after he was originally assaulted.

Lawyers for 20-year-old Martin Leo McNally applied to have the murder charge put to him again at Craigavon Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, and it was then that he pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Francis Gerard Lyttle.

McNally, from Woodside Green in Portadown, had originally been charged with murdering 70-year-old Mr Lyttle on January 23, 2008, but that was “left on the books” after the prosecution said his plea to the lesser offence of manslaughter was “acceptable”. Mr Lyttle was found by a member of the public in an alleyway in the Garvaghy Road area of Portadown in November 2007 and was transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

Yesterday Mr Justice Hart adjourned passing sentence until April when victim impact and pre-sentence probation reports have been compiled.

Releasing McNally on bail the judge warned him to be in “no doubt however, that that does not in any way mean that you will not receive a custodial sentence — this is a very serious matter”.

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