A KILLER has been warned he faces a lengthy sentence behind bars after he admitted causing the death of his house mate in a “vicious assault”.
Matthew Bramhall, from North Shore, Blackpool, had been due to stand trial at Preston Crown Court for the murder of Gary Curry yesterday.
But in a dramatic change of plea, the 29-year-old admitted the manslaughter of Mr Curry, who was found dead in his flat on Eaves Street, North Shore, in July last year.
A post mortem revealed the 43-year-old had died from head injuries.
Det Insp Martin Clague, from Lancashire Police, who led the investigation, said: “Mr Curry was subjected to an assault, a vicious assault. His family are obviously devastated by his loss.”
It is thought police were called to a house on Eaves Street, which is split into four separate flats, on July 11 after reports Bramall had assaulted Mr Curry during a party.
However, when officers arrived there was no sign an assault had taken place.
But the police were called to the property again later the same day after Mr Curry went to bed and failed to wake up.
Det Insp Clague added: “It was a flat where a number of people were present at that time.
“At that initial stage there was no indication that an assault had taken place.
“Later on that day it was quite clear that Mr Curry had not woken up.
“He was declared dead at the scene.
“He had suffered head injuries.”
Two women, aged 26 and 40, and a 56-year-old man, all from Blackpool, were initially arrested on suspicion of murder alongside Bramall following Mr Curry’s death.
Bramall, also of Eaves Street, North Shore, was later charged with murder while the others were released without charge.
Addressing Bramall in court yesterday, Judge Pamela Badley said: “You have pleaded guilty to the offence of manslaughter and the court will now look at the information in the pre-sentence report.
“You are realistic enough to recognise this is a most serious matter and the court will have no alternative but to hand down a sentence of custody.”
Neighbours today described how they had heard fighting at the house where Mr Curry and Bramall lived prior to the tragedy.
Mother-of-three Jacqueline Meechan, 44, described life next to the house where Mr Curry died as a “living hell”.
She said: “Two or three nights prior to his death, my son was crying asking me to call the police because there was fighting.
“It was a nice day that day, they’d been out the back drinking. There were fights there every night, you didn’t think it was different to any other night.”
Another neighbour, who asked not to be named, spoke of her shock at the incident.
She said: “I can’t believe he’s done it, he was a lovely bloke.
“It was hard to take that he’d done that. To me, Matt used to keep himself to himself, I had run ins with him if he was drunk but he’d come round the next day to apologise.
“They should shut the house down now. We knew something would happen to someone there.
“The fights you hear there, there’s going to be another death before long.”
Bramall will now be sentenced on April 12, after a pre-sentence report has been prepared.