An ex-factory worker with a history of violence has admitted the murder of Hartlepool man Lee Cooper.
Neil Maxwell, 40, had never denied the killing, but had argued that he had lost control during the incident in December 23 last year.
He sought a conviction for manslaughter – rather than murder – at his trial at Teesside Crown Court.
Luke Pearson, 19, of Westbourne Street, Stockton, is still on trial for murder, which he denies.
This morning Judge Stephen Ashurst told the jury: “Maxwell has never suggested it was an accident or that he did not intent at least very serious injury or to kill him.
“He seeks to rely on a provision in law of loss of control as a partial defence to murder.”
But Judge Ashurst told the jury that following legal discussion he had rejected the defence of loss of control in Maxwell’s case.
Following this, Maxwell, of Lytton Court, North Ormesby, stood up in the dock and pleaded guilty to the charge of murder.
He was taken down and will be sentenced next week following the conclusion of the trial of Luke Pearson.
The case continues