London

Men admit fatal Trafalgar Square attack on homeless man

Desmond O'Beirne Image copyright Met Police
Image caption "Larger than life" Desmond O'Beirne died six months after he was punched
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Two men who worked in Harrods are facing jail after they admitted attacking a homeless man in Trafalgar Square who later died.

Desmond O'Beirne, 51, was filmed running away from agency workers Lucas Antunes and Luis Abella near the National Gallery on 3 June 2017 before he was floored with a single punch.

He died from a head injury six months later.

Antunes pleaded guilty to manslaughter and Abella admitted attempted assault.

Antunes was extradited from the United States to face the manslaughter charge.

Mr O'Beirne, who was homeless, had asked the pair for a cigarette.

When they said no, he allegedly threatened to "shank" them.

But in CCTV footage, Mr O'Beirne was moving away from the pair when Antunes, 21, floored him with a punch in the head, and Abella, 22, appeared to kick him.

A spokeswoman for Harrods said the pair were not staff but worked for a company which did in-store demonstrations.

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption The attack in Trafalgar Square was caught on CCTV
Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Lucas Antunes (left) and Luis Abella admitted attacking Mr O'Beirne

Mr O'Beirne died on December 20 last year.

Antunes, of Tottenham, north London, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to manslaughter earlier this month.

His co-defendant Abella, from Lambeth, south London, previously pleaded not guilty to manslaughter. He admitted attempted assault occasioning actual bodily harm on Friday.

The pair will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on 8 February.

Earlier this year, police offered £20,000 to anyone who could help them track down the culprits.

Mr O'Beirne's sister, Vivienne Folan, previously said she was "devastated" by the loss of her "larger than life" brother.

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