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UPDATE: Man pleads guilty to manslaughter, Westminster

News   •   Dec 21, 2018 14:21 GMT

[Lucas Antunes]

A man has pleaded guilty to assaulting of 51-year-old Desmond O'Beirne who died following an attack in central London in June 2017. 

Luis Abella, 22 (29.05.96) of Marshall Court, SW4 pleaded guilty to attempting to cause grievous bodily harm at the Old Bailey on Friday, 21 December.

Desmond O'Beirne from Westminster was attacked in the area outside the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, WC2 at around 00:25hrs on 3 June 2017.

London Ambulance Service attended and treated Desmond at the scene before taking him to hospital. However, he died from his injuries on 20 December 2017.

A post-mortem examination took place at Westminster Mortuary on Wednesday, 3 January and determined cause of death as a head injury.

Desmond's death was investigated by the Homicide and Major Crime Command, led by Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh.

Abella was charged with manslaughter on Wednesday, 15 August.

Another man, Lucas Antunes, 21 (04.02.97) of no fixed abode appeared at the Old Bailey on Friday, 14 December where he pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Antunes was charged on Thursday, 27 September with manslaughter after being extradited from the US back to the UK. He will be sentenced at the same court in February 2019 on a date to be confirmed.

Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh, said: "This is a tremendous result. We have got some justice for Desmond and his family.

"He was punched in the back of the head and kicked while he was on the ground. He was out on a night out and he suffered injuries which would put him in a coma for six months.

"This case shows the power of the media supporting us and the amazing public coming forward to support this prosecution.

"Without you we would not have secured a conviction.

"I am so proud of the officers involved in the investigation for their hardwork and a huge thank you to our American partners who were crucial to bringing Antunes back to the UK."

Abella will be sentenced on 8 February 2019 at the same court.