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7 May 2013, 14:18
The man accused of the murder of Delaney Brown in Luton last September has pleaded guilty to his manslaughter.
Kyle Beckford entered his plea this morning.
The murder trial against him is continuing, but the jury was told the new development should shorten the proceedings.
Until today, the issue for the jury had been whether Mr Beckford, 22, was the driver of a stolen silver BMW which mounted the pavement in Vincent Road on September 5th last year and drove into Delaney, 19, who was riding a pedal cycle.
After his arrest and even up until last week when the trial began, Mr Beckford was claiming he was not in the car and was at another location in Luton when Delaney was killed.
However, the jury were told that he now admitted Delaney's manslaughter and accepted he was behind the wheel of the car when the teenager was killed.
That meant, said Struart Trimmer QC prosecuting, that the issue for the jury now was no longer whether he was the driver, but did he intend to kill Mr Brown or cause him really serious bodily harm.
Mr Trimmer said the prosecution had been alerted to a guilty to manslaughter charge being offered by the defendant at the end of last week.
The court was told that the murder trial would still continue but the evidence called would be "limited" to deal with the new issue raised.
Delaney was thrown into the air and "propelled" into a wall after the car drove into him from behind.
He died from a broken neck and his chest was crushed. The car sped from the scene and wasn't recovered by police until the following day.
Mr Beckford, a one time friend of Delaney, pleads not guilty at Luton crown court to the murder of Delaney.
The jury has been told that, as they got older, the pair found their way into rival gangs.
In their home town of Luton in Beds, Delaney Brown was a member of the 'Lewsey Farm Gang' sometimes known as 'The Trap Gang.'
Kyle Beckford of Waleys Close, Marsh Farm, Luton, was said in court to have been a member of the 'Marsh Farm Gang.'
At the start of the trial, Mr Trimmer QC told the court of the "substantial hostility" between these gangs.
Mr Trimmer said in the weeks and months leading up to Delaney's death there were a number of "violent incidents between these groups."
At one point, said the prosecutor, a meeting was held in a McDonalds restaurant involving members of both gangs and their parents and family in an attempt to calm the situation.
The jury then heard how on September 5 last year Delaney and some of his friends went into Luton town centre.
CCTV images captured him in The Mall and, that afternoon, he was seen riding a cycle towards the town's railway station.
Mr Trimmer told the jury Delaney caught a train to Leagrave Station just four minutes away and CCTV picked him up riding the cycle along Toddington Road away from the station at around 4.30pm.
"It is unclear how how it came to be that the defendant spotted the deceased but he did," said the prosecutor.
The jury heard the BMW was being followed by a moped.
Mr Trimmer said "Beckford was driving the BMW as it entered Vincent Road. He followed Delaney Brown on his bike."
He said "What happened next was not a road accident. The defendant deliberately drove the car onto the pavement so all four wheels were on the pavement. He drove at the bike directly at speed."
He said "This was a deliberate murder. The weapon chosen was the car. The method of use of that weapon demonstrates the deliberate nature of the murder."