Eastbourne dad was killed after fight at family barbecue

James Harris-Durkin
James Harris-Durkin

A killer has admitted beating an Eastbourne father of-three to death after a Diamond Jubilee party.

Liam Smith, 25, hit 21-year-old James Harris-Durkin during a fight after a family barbecue in Kent this summer.

The victim, who had travelled from Eastbourne, for the party, suffered massive brain injuries and died later the same day.

Smith, of Thorndon Close, St Paul’s Cray, denies murdering Mr Harris-Durkin. But during a short hearing at the Old Bailey he admitted manslaughter on the grounds that he was provoked during the incident on June 5 this year.

He denied perverting the course of justice by making a false statement to police.

Leanne Turner, 25 also of Thorndon Close, Orpington, also denied perverting the course of justice.

Prosecutors will now decide whether to continue the murder charge against Smith.

A trial is set for November 26 and is due to last five days.