Northern Ireland

Man admits murder of 20-year-old Darren Roberts

Darren Roberts
Image caption Darren Roberts was killed in June 2009

A 22-year-old man from Lisburn has been given a life sentence for the murder of a man in June 2009.

Stephen Alister, from Rushmore Crescent, was due to go on trial at Craigavon Crown Court on Monday morning along with two others.

But after the jury was selected, he pleaded guilty to the murder of Lisburn man Darren Roberts, 20, who was stabbed to death in the city.

The trial of his two former co-accused will go ahead on Tuesday.

Alister also admitted causing an affray, and wounding a second man with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm.

Trial judge Mr Justice McLaughlin told Alister that "there was only one sentence that this court can pass and I therefore sentence you to life imprisonment".

The judge also told Alister he would fix the minimum tariff of the life-term he must serve, at the end of the trial of the other two men.

They are 21-year-old Diarmaid Paul Anderson of Creggan Road, Randalstown, and 25-year-old David James Curran of South Link, Andersonstown. They both deny Mr Roberts' murder and causing an affray.

No details surrounding the death of Mr Roberts were given to the jury who were told that given Alister's guilty pleas the trial may be shorter than the expected four weeks it was estimated to last.