A 19-year-old man from Northampton has pleaded guilty to the murder of Jamie McMahon, a jury was told today (Friday).
Mark Lewis, aged 19, of Clickers Drive, Upton, Northampton, has admitted killing Mr McMahon, aged 26, in St Giles Churchyard, St Giles Street, in the early hours of October 2 last year.
Lewis’s guilty plea was announced to the jury on the first day of the trial of Michael Francis, aged 33, of St James Road, who denies murder and robbery.
Yvonne Coen, prosecuting, said it was up to the jury to now decide whether they believed that Francis participated in the unlawful killing of Mr McMahon.
She said: “Mark Lewis has publicly accepted his guilt by pleading guilty to murder of Jamie McMahon.
“It does not follow that Mr Francis is also guilty of the offence of murder. Mark Lewis’s plea of guilty does not tell you anything about what Michael Francis did or did not do.
“There is no dispute that Jamie McMahon was killed unlawfully but it is up to you the jury to decide whether Michael Francis participated in the unlawful killing.”
Opening her case, Ms Coen said Mr McMahon had been sitting on a bench in the churchyard shortly after 2am when he was attacked.
Ms Coen said Jamie had made an attempt to run off but had been forced to the ground and kicked at least seven times in the head.
She said: “Mr McMahon was kicked with sufficient force that he suffered a fractured eye socket and an imprint of the sole of a trainer was left on his head.
“He was left as good as dead by the side of the path and his iPhone, wallet and cash were stolen.”
A pathologist concluded that the head injuries would have left Mr McMahon unconscious and he would have died within an hour of the attack.
A contributory cause of Mr McMahon’s death was the fact his stomach contents blocked his airway and he was unable to breathe.
However, Ms Coen said the pathologist concluded, even without the blocked airway, the traumatic head injury would have been likely to be fatal.
The court heard that Lewis and Francis swapped jackets before they left the churchyard so Francis was then wearing Lewis’s hooded top.
The jury was told that CCTV cameras tracked the pair on their walk home and they stopped at a BP garage off Upton Way and used £12.39 of the stolen cash to buy tobacco, soft drink, jam sandwiches, crisps, milk and sugar.
Francis denies murder and robbery. The trial is expected to last seven days.