A Lurgan man accused of stabbing a young man to death was handed a life sentence today after he admitted murder.
The case against John Paul Whitla had been listed for review at Craigavon Crown Court; however, defence lawyer Eugene Grant KC asked for three of the charges to be put to the 44-year-old again.
Standing in the dock, flanked by prison officers, Whitla said “guilty” when the charge of murdering Nathan Gibson (25), from Craigavon, was put to him.
Whitla, of no fixed abode, also pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm and trespass with intent to commit sexual assault arising from the same incident on January 16, 2020.
Other charges of assault, false imprisonment and assault were left on the books following an application by prosecuting KC Frank O’Donoghue.
Judge Patrick Lynch KC told self-confessed killer Whitla that, given his admissions, there was only one sentence he could pass under law — “that of life imprisonment”.