A 26 year old Northamptonshire man has today pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of hairdresser Ashley Gillard.
Thomas White was originally charged with murder, but, at Luton Crown Court this morning, the prosecution accepted his guilty plea to manslaughter by gross negligence and will not proceed with the murder charge.
White, from Bibury Close, Wellingborough, has also pleaded guilty to ten other charges including arson being reckless as to whether life would be endangered.
Mr Gillard, aged 31, was found dead in his flat at Trevithick Court, Wolverton, near Milton Keynes on June 8 last year. The flat had been damaged by fire and the door had been barricaded.
White entered his guilty pleas before a packed court room, on what would have been the first day of his trial.
In addition to manslaughter and arson he has also pleaded guilty to stealing clothing and credit cards from Mr Gillard and another man, fraud by using one of the cards at Tesco, arson of a Peugeot car belonging to Mr Gillard, theft of a generator, and taking a truck and a BMW without consent, and two charges of possession of Class B and Class C drugs.
White could be sentenced tomorrow or at a later date if probation reports are required.
Mr Gillard was well known in Northampton as he worked as a hairdresser at the Hensmans salon in the town centre.