Northern Ireland

Man pleads guilty to murder of car boot stab victim

Kyle Neil Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption The body of 23-year-old Kyle Neil was found in the boot of a car in Belfast

A man has pleaded guilty to the murder of a man in County Down in April 2015.

The body of Kyle Neil, 23, was discovered in the boot of a car at Windsor Road in south Belfast.

Wesley Harry Vance, 27, formerly of Church Gate Studios in Comber, was due to stand trial accused of murdering Mr Neil after a party at his flat.

However, he changed his plea on Tuesday. The trial of Vance's co-accused, Stephanie Todd, will still proceed.

The judge told Vance: "Now that you have pleaded guilty to murder, the mandatory sentence that I must impose is one of a life sentence."

Members of Mr Neil's family wept after Vance changed his plea.

He had previously denied the murder charge, claiming he had acted in self defence.

'Frenzied' attack

A hearing to decide how long Vance will spend in prison without parole will take place next month at Belfast Crown Court.

Ms Todd, 26, of Russell Court in Belfast denies two charges of assisting offenders by allegedly driving a car with Mr Neil's body in the boot from Mill Street, Comber to Windsor Road in Belfast on 12 April 2015 and driving the car with excess alcohol.

It is alleged Mr Neil, who was living in Bangor, County Down at the time but was originally from the Ballysillan area of north Belfast, sustained multiple knife wounds in the attack, which was described by police at the time as "frenzied".

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