Page last updated at 17:35 GMT, Thursday, 5 February 2009

Man admits to homophobic killing

A teenager has admitted killing a man in a homophobic attack in south east London.

David Smith, 19, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to manslaughter over the death of retired lorry driver Ronald Dixon in Charlton in May 2008.

Mr Dixon, 61, was taunted and spat on from an flat window and was later punched in the face. He died from brain injuries after his head hit the road.

The judge said Smith, of Bexley in Kent, will face jail when sentenced.

Michael Worsely, QC, prosecuting, said the attack happened after Smith, another man and two women taunted, spat on and threw eggs at the victim and his partner on the pavement below the block of flats.

After leaving the flat, Smith punched Mr Dixon, who was recovering from a stroke, in the face, smashing his cheek bone and leaving him with head injuries after he hit the road.

Mr Dixon, who lived in nearby Wellington Gardens, died of a brain injury shortly after the attack.

Common Serjeant of London Judge Brian Barker told Smith, who remains on conditional bail, that "a prison sentence is inevitable".



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