Attacker admits killing Sunderland man

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AN attacker has admitted killing a man in an assault outside a pub.

William Linley, 33, died almost two weeks after he was attacked outside the Albion Hotel, in Victor Street, Roker.

At Newcastle Crown Court yesterday, Charles Butler pleaded guilty to Mr Linley’s manslaughter.

The court heard that 25-year-old Butler, of Bright Street, Roker, was out on licence for another offence at the time of the killing.

He will be sentenced for Mr Linley’s manslaughter in May.

Mr Linley, known as Billy, from Fulwell Road, died from massive head injuries in Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary on December 22 last year, following the incident on December 11.

He suffered a fractured skull outside the bar and was initially taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital, but due to the serious nature if his injuries, had to be transferred.

Neighbours said the pub had been busy on the night of the attack as Sunderland fans had been celebrating Martin O’Neill’s first game in charge.

They told how they saw Mr Linley fall to the ground, lying motionless as police and paramedics were called to the scene.

A 63-year-old witness, who did not want to be named, said: “It looked pretty nasty, he was just lying on the floor.

“I’ve never seen so many police in my life, the place was swarming with them. They had the dog team out and everything.

“The pub was really busy because of the match but I think everyone was in high spirits.”

Prosecutor Mark Giuliani told the court: “The defendant does have an anticedent history, including three offences the crown say are recent and relevant, matters all dealt with as batterys in 2006, 2008 and 2009.”

CCTV footage which captured the entire incident is expected to be played at the sentencing hearing.

Bob Spragg, defending Butler, told Judge Paul Sloan: “There is CCTV would invite your honour to watch and I think you should watch.

“It shows exactly what happened.”

Judge Sloan remanded Butler in custody in the meantime.

The Judge told him: “The fact I am adjourning sentence and the fact I am directing the preparation of a report should not be taken by you as any indication of the sentence that will be imposed.

“All sentencing options remain open and that does include custody in this case.”