Ex-Sunderland AFC and Hartlepool United player Paul Conlon admits killing his dad in Christmas Eve disturbance
A former Sunderland and Hartlepool player has admitted the manslaughter of his dad after he died more than three weeks after a Christmas Eve attack at their family home.
Paul Robert Conlon had been charged with the murder of 77-year-old Harry Conlon and was due to stand trial from today, Monday, May 24, at Newcastle Crown Court.
But the alternative charge of manslaughter was accepted, and the 43-year-old, of no fixed abode, is set to be sentenced tomorrow, Tuesday, May 25.
The former Black Cat, who joined Sunderland in 1996 after playing for Hartlepool United’s first team as a teenager, appeared dressed in a suit and spoke to confirm his name and enter his plea.
The judge, Mrs Justice Lambert, told him: “I hope you have heard what has been said, I will come back tomorrow for the sentencing.
“That will give opportunity to read through documents prepared by the barristers in this case.”
Reference was made to Conlon’s alcohol issues, but no reports were ordered. A victim impact statement is to be prepared for the case.
Northumbria Police said officers found Mr Conlon Snr with head injuries consistent with an assault and he was taken to hospital.
He died due to his injuries on Monday, January 18.
Residents living near Mr Conlon Snr’s home described him as a “quiet man” who was friendly and very active.
As inquiries were underway, Detective Chief Inspector Jane Fairlamb, the senior investigating officer in the case, said: “This is a tragic case which has sadly resulted in Harry’s death, and our thoughts go out to his family at this terrible time.
“Specialist family liaison officers will continue to offer them any support they need as they try to come to terms with their devastating loss.”
She added Mr Conlon Snr’s relations had asked their privacy was respected at that time.
The Wearsiders signed him for free after apparently exploiting a loophole in his contract with Pools, but he never appeared for the first team and went on to play for non-league football teams.