Published Tuesday, 17 September 2013
Christopher Wright, 22, Richard Chester, 23, and James Jordan, 29, had been due to go on trial for the murder of Andrew Lorimer at Craigavon Crown Court, sitting in Belfast on Tuesday.
However, a senior defence lawyer asked for the charge to be put to them again and it was then that all three said they were "not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter."
Prosecution QC Terence Mooney told Mr Justice Weir that having reviewed the evidence and consulted with the director of the PPS, he had been instructed to accept the pleas to the lesser offence.
The battered body of 43-year-old Mr Lorimer was found by a burglar on 3 February last year who, coincidentally, broke into his flat at Portlec Place in Lurgan.
A previous court heard how evidence suggested Mr Lorimer had been kicked and beaten with a hammer in a suspected homophobic attack and also that he would have remained alive for a number of hours after the fatal attack.
Following the guilty pleas, Wright, who is currently staying at Mount Zion House, Edward Street, Lurgan; Jordan, from Princes Street in the town, and Chester, of no fixed abode, were remanded back into custody.
Mr Justice Weir adjourned passing sentence until November when pre-sentence probation reports have been compiled.
© UTV News