Schoolboy orchestrated fatal homophobic attack

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Two men have admitted killing a council worker in a homophobic attack in a public park in Scotland.

The BBC reported that a 15-year-old boy also pleaded guilty to assaulting 51-year-old James Kerr in the South Inch park in Perth in April this year.

All three were originally charged with murder, but changed their pleas at the High Court in Perth. They will be sentenced today.

David Meehan, aged 19, admitted murder, while 21-year-old Martin Soutar admitted culpable homicide.

The three men pleaded guilty on the second day of their trial, having previously denied all charges against them.

Meehan and Soutar were detained in custody while the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was granted bail overnight.

Mr Kerr was found badly injured by a woman walking her dog in the park early on Sunday 22 April.

The Perth and Kinross Council employee, who was known to live an openly gay lifestyle, had serious head injuries after being repeatedly kicked in the head and was taken to Dundee’s Ninewells Hospital where he died a few hours later.

Mr Kerr started a conversation with the boy in the park, a known cruising area.

Later the boy phoned Meehan and Soutar and summoned them to the park, where they hunted down their victim.

Meehan, Soutar and the 15-year-old all admitted punching him on the face and knocking him to the ground.

Meehan and Soutar admitted kicking him numerous times on the head, with Meehan admitting landing the blows which amounted to murder.

Soutar admitted committing culpable homicide and stealing his victim’s lighter and a set of keys as he lay on the ground.

At that start of the trial on Friday, Judge Lord Macphail started proceedings by issuing a warning to the jury not to visit the alleged crime scene.

He said: “This alleged crime is alleged to have been committed at the South Inch. You will all know where that is.

“Do not be tempted to go there and make your own observations and investigations. It is tempting I am sure, but do not do it.

“It could lead to all kinds of trouble if somebody had gone there and tried to make their own investigations.”

All three will be sentenced today.